Penn State's Matt McGloin candidate for nation's top former walk-on

Matt McGloin said, "I'm just focusing on who we're playing and how to approach the game and how to get my mind ready for it." (Darron Cummings/AP)

Matt McGloin will surely be a posterchild for Penn State recruiting in the future -- especially as Bill O'Brien tries to snag in-state talent to become non-scholarship players.

O'Brien will say look at the kid from Scranton -- the one who never got a major scholarship offer, the one who threw five picks in the Outback Bowl -- and look how far he's come. 

Indeed, as McGloin's senior season winds down, it's impressive to consider how much progress he's made. The quarterback may be in the mix as the Nittany Lions' best walk-on of all time. That's up for debate. Right now, at least, he's being recognized as one of the top former walk-ons in the country.

McGloin was selected as one of 50 candidates for the Burlsworth Trophy, presented to the nation’s outstanding college football player who began his career as a walk-on.

In 2012, McGloin is 229 for 377 (60.7) for 2,676 yards, with 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions, the fewest among the conference’s Top 10 passers. He leads the Big Ten in passing yardage, passing average (267.6 ypg) by more than 50 yards per game), and completions, and is tied for the lead in touchdown passes. McGloin also leads the Lions with five rushing touchdowns.

Perhaps equally impressive is some of the Penn State records he has broken. He became the first Penn State quarterback to throw for five 300-yard games in his career. That passed Kerry Collins' record, of four.    

Among the 50 Burlsworth nominees, five are from the Big Ten. Joining McGloin are Iowa's Mike Meyer, Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis and Michigan's Jordan Kovacs.

-Emily Kaplan