Spring in Happy Valley

By Mike Tongue

Another spring in Happy Valley: Another QB competition. It’s nothing new for College football fans across the country. But for Penn State fans, it’s always a little different.(Mills/Senneca anybody?) As you might have guessed, it’s the same way again this year.

Without going into a lot of details because it’s a saga, this was Pat Devlin’s year to be a starter, but when the QB from Downingtown transfer in December 2008, Penn State fans quickly realized this PSU would be left without an experience starter for 2010 based on the return of All Big 10 QB Daryl Clark and Paterno’s history of not playing the backup.

So as most fans do, as soon as the clock ran out in the Lions win in the slop at the Capital One Bowl talk about the signal caller in 2010 began. The battle was seen as a three man race.

  1. Kevin Newsome-A redshirt Freshman, was the favorite to win the job as he was the backup in 2009 and probably the biggest combination of talent and “experience” of any of the QBs. While most Penn State fans are reminded of the running of Michael Robinson when the see Newsome, he has been noted as inconsistent throwing the ball.
  1. Matt McGloin: A redshirt Sophomore, McGloin joined the Nittany Lions as a walk in 2008. Considered a winner, the undersize QB is the best thrower of the bunch is probably the most consistent, but also QB with the less ceiling.
  1. Paul “PJ Jones”: Jones arrived to Happy Valley in January after graduating from High School early. While he might have the best arm of the bunch, Jones needs a major overhaul on his mechanics and footwork. Due to this, Jones was considered a long shot

While many fans have taken a liking to another Freshman QB Robert Bolden, his enrollment in the summer took him out of the running for the starting position.

So as spring practice crosses the halfway point, Jones was out of the running and the race was down to two guys. The Blue Chipper vs. the Walk-on

As expected, McGloin has been the most consistent guy and there seems to be a feeling among some in the program he should be the guy. While in the past, I think there might be a chance McGloin might be the starter, I believe Jay Paterno’s ability to step up to Joe might be the one that changes this battle.

Newsome has improved his passing and his running ability could help make life easier for an offensive line that is still in progress.

Ultimately, I don’t want to see McGloin out there. Do I think he can be a solid back-up, no doubt, but come on, we are going to Tuscaloosa in the second game of the season. Saban will eat the kid up. Newsome at least gives us a chance with his running. Plus, it’s not like he needs to be Dan Marino out there. MRob complete 51% of his passes in the magical 2005 season. If Kevin can avoid turnover’s, I expect he will be decent.

Plus, PSU has established an identity of having a QB who can run and throw after taking years to find their QB niche. Why should we throw that away now. It’s not like McGloin is a Matt Barkley

Ultimately, Newsome is going to be the starter.  While he wasn’t great in the coaches scrimmage, he went up against the #1 defense that is going to be loaded. He also didn’t run. While McGloin looked good, he never had to face Jack Crawford and Eric Laittamore.

I just hope Joe lets Newsome play. We aren’t going to have any shot if we seen  the offense we have seen in big games on the road in the past.

P.S. If you expect to see a show next weekend at Blue/White, Joe isn’t going to be showing Newsome’s offense. I think that is a safe sign that the Big guy is going to be the starter

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