Bolden likely to start for Penn State in TicketCity Bowl

DALLAS - Quarterback Matt McGloin took the field Friday at Bishop Lynch High School for Penn State's practice dressed in pads. He then stretched with his teammates and threw the football with the Nittany Lions' other quarterbacks.

But that was the extent of the activity for McGloin, who hasn't practiced since suffering a concussion in a Dec. 17 scuffle with wide receiver Curtis Drake. So the Lions continued their preparations for Monday's TicketCity Bowl against Houston with sophomore Rob Bolden as the first-team quarterback.

Interim head coach Tom Bradley said he would wait until Saturday's final practice before naming a starter but added that, "as of right now, it looks like [McGloin] is not going to play."

"If he's not ready to go [Saturday], then obviously we're not going to have him for the game," he said.

Bradley said Bolden "has had a great week of practice" and that "we're very comfortable with him."

Bolden, who tried to transfer after riding the bench for the entire Outback Bowl loss last season to Florida, a game in which McGloin threw five interceptions, has not played a meaningful snap since Oct. 29 against Illinois. But he has seven starts under his belt this season and said his confidence has stayed strong.

"Honestly, I can't say that I lost confidence," Bolden said. "I was upset that I wasn't playing a lot, but we were winning so there wasn't much I could say. Hopefully I can take advantage of the opportunity."

 

 

Getting feedback

Junior linebacker Gerald Hodges, the leading tackler on the Nittany Lions, has petitioned the NFL for an evaluation to help him make a decision on whether to leave early for the draft.

Defensive co-coordinator Ron Vanderlinden said he feels Hodges has the potential to reach the ability of former Lion stars - and current NFL starters - Sean Lee and NaVorro Bowman. He said he thought Hodges, a former Paulsboro High star who came to Penn State as a safety, could get there if he comes back for his senior season.

Nonetheless, if Hodges projects to being a first-round pick, "it's hard to turn that down," Vanderlinden said. "But if you don't and you're projected to be a second or a third, you have a chance to play yourself into a first-rounder and it would be foolish to leave."

Defensive tackle Jordan Hill, who like Hodges is a third-year junior, also has asked for an evaluation.

 


Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or jjuliano@phillynews.com or @joejulesinq on Twitter.