Penn State head coach Joe Paterno said today he still had not decided on a starting quarterback for Saturday’s season opener against Youngstown State at Beaver Stadium.
At his weekly teleconference, Paterno said he wanted to have a first-string quarterback in place by the end of last week but elected to wait, telling his coaches, “Let’s make sure we know what we’re doing.” He said he would have a decision by Wednesday night, but did not rule out the possibility it might come at the end of today’s practice.
The three candidates are sophomores Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin and freshman Robert Bolden.
Paterno confirmed today that the coaching staff “tentatively” has decided to redshirt a fourth quarterback, freshman Paul Jones. He said Jones, who enrolled in January after graduating from Sto-Rox High School near Pittsburgh, “had a bad start academically,” although he did better during summer school.
The coach said his chief concern during pre-season was that “you don’t know what you’re going to get” on a daily basis from each of the candidates. Although Newsome played some as Daryll Clark’s backup last season, he nor the other quarterbacks have the type of experience Paterno would like to have.
“None of them have game experience so you have no idea what to expect from them in a ballgame,” Paterno said. “They’re all working hard. All of them can throw the football and all of them are big enough. But at this stage, I don’t know who can handle the kind of situations that a quarterback has to handle as the season goes on.”
Paterno said he wanted to see two quarterbacks, and maybe three, in Saturday’s game.