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Penn State Football: Rob Bolden Doesn't Have to Start to Be Successful

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 10: Quarterback Rob Bolden #1 of the Penn State Nittany Lions drops back to pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half at Beaver Stadium on September 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Adam JacobiBig Ten Football Lead WriterJune 26, 2016

I had an entire post ready to go wondering why Rob Bolden hadn't transferred from Penn State yet. He looked just as bad in this year's spring game as he did in last season's game—which is to say, very bad. Sophomore-to-be Paul Jones is probably going to pass him on the depth chart after spending last season academically ineligible, and Matt McGloin looks like the favorite to start.

But honestly, Bolden doesn't owe it to anybody to leave Penn State if he drops on the depth chart. Sometimes that's a really stupid thing to do. So if there's an answer as to why Bolden hasn't transferred yet, it's because it's his decision and nobody else's, and it's snotty and presumptive to think otherwise.

In fact, I would admire Bolden if he stayed at Penn State. I really would.

Bolden's football career at Penn State is probably going to follow the rare downward arc, peaking as a true freshman starter for the Nittany Lions and gradually seeing his playing time diminish in favor of McGloin. That diminishment doesn't appear to be changing.

In fact, after what we saw in the spring game and based on reports out of practice, there's no indication that Bolden is going to be getting that starting role back without disaster befalling the program.

But you know what? If he's not a success at football, then he's not a success at football. And he gets to figure that out while he's still this young. And he still gets a free education at a very good university.

It's both disappointing and common to see players transfer away from a good school to a comparatively worse one with a year or two left, for the sake of athletics. And often times, this won't work out. Granted, what happens after the degree matters a lot more in terms of future professional success, but employers do care where you went to school.

And who knows? Maybe Bolden puts it all together his senior year and beats Jones out for the job and leads Penn State to glory. That'd be great. And maybe he doesn't. Maybe he goes somewhere else to play football. Maybe he doesn't. It's up to him.

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