Penn State Football: What You Need to Know About Matt McGloin
Although Matt McGloin may not be the greatest quarterback in Penn State history, the fifth-year senior is the man who has been tasked to lead the Lions through their most trying time as a football team.
Whether it was trying to earn a football scholarship in high school or beating out Rob Bolden for the No. 1 job in 2011, the Scranton-native has endured all sorts of adversity throughout his football career.
However, McGloin has what it takes to help lead the Lions to not just wins, but a rebirth of the Penn State football program.
With that, let's take a look at what you need to know about quarterback Matt McGloin.
Possesses Fiery and Confident Attitude
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Even though he was a former walk-on quarterback at Penn State, Matt McGloin has no reservations or insecurities about his abilities on and off the football field.
While he's not the most gifted signal caller in college football, McGloin plays like it, demanding respect from his teammates along with his opponents.
What the quarterback lacks in natural talent he makes up for in pure grit and determination—something that shouldn't be trifled with in the college game.
Sure he may make some bone-headed mistakes (i.e. under-throwing covered receivers in the red zone), but the gun-slinger has the confidence in his arm and the determination to correct mistakes that coaches want to see.
Adversity Has Molded Him
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As previously mentioned, Matt McGloin has undergone a whirlwind of adversity throughout his football career.
First of all, McGloin never garnered any scholarship offers from D1 schools, despite his sterling high school football career.
The signal caller impressed on the gridiron, throwing for 5,485 passing yards and accumulating 58 touchdowns as a three-year starter.
Not only did he never get recognized for his accomplishments via a scholarship, McGloin also never got a fair shake at quarterback until this season.
Even though former Nittany Lion quarterback Rob Bolden proved he wasn't worthy of the starting job, the Penn State coaching staff subjected Bolden and McGloin to an on-going competition—one that McGloin was winning every chance he got.
However, Bolden continued to get the starting nod until the very end of the 2011 campaign.
With this and many more examples, it's fair to say that McGloin has overcome a lot in his football career.
While that may not convince his doubters of his legitimacy, it still says something about his character and attitude on the field.
Needs Work on Evaluating Reads and Options
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Not only does McGloin have issues in terms of his physical attributes (i.e. under-sized), he also needs to polish his ability to read coverages and evaluate different receiver options.
Two things that have stuck out in McGloin's play over the past two seasons or so have been: 1) he strongly favors the right side of the field, and 2) he relies too heavily on check-down options.
As a right-handed quarterback, it's understandable that he's going to favor his right side, but he misses a ridiculous amount of open receivers because he is too stubborn to throw across his body.
I'm not saying that Saturday's loss against Ohio was McGloin's fault because it wasn't; however, had he opened his eyes to the whole field there were opportunities to be had on the left side that could have changed the game.
Another reason why McGloin misses golden opportunities at big plays is his over-reliance on check-down receivers.
It seems as though McGloin goes into plays already knowing who he's going to throw to and more than half the time it's the easy, but predictable short pass.
Sure, Bill O'Brien is going to be having him focus on a lot of efficient, short passes, but McGloin is going to need to take chances down the field in order for Penn State to keep defenses on their toes and win ball games.
Has the Mentality and Frame to Prosper Under O'Brien
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While McGloin may lack in physical standing and talent, he's actually a pretty good fit for Bill O'Brien's offensive scheme.
Not only does McGloin have a short, quick release, but his mental approach lends itself to success in this efficient system.
Even though he's prone to making mistakes, McGloin's mindset has him in position to move forward and learn to make the right plays in O'Brien's scheme.
Penn State quarterback coach Charlie Fisher spoke to ESPN senior writer Ivan Maisel about McGloin:
McGloin has flourished because he’s sharp mentally and he’s fast mentally... Knowledge is power. McGloin’s brain is speeding up and the game is slowing down. You can watch how fast the ball is coming out of his hand. Put in a tape from the first day of spring, you could tell the difference.
As long as McGloin is able to continue his progressions under Fisher and O'Brien, the fifth-year senior should put up good numbers in 2012.
One of Penn State's Proven Leaders
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Whether you respect him as a quarterback or not, one thing that has to be realized is McGloin's uncanny leadership skills and commitment to the Penn State program.
Throughout the Sandusky scandal, death of Joe Paterno and NCAA sanctions, McGloin used his seniority to stand up as a spokesperson and leader of the Penn State football team.
When asked about his commitment to Penn State by ESPN.com's Josh Moyer, McGloin responded:
I knew I didn't want to leave this place. I had already put in so much time and had overcome this adversity. I didn't want to leave when things got tough. We could help rebuild this university.
While his skills as a quarterback can be the subject of debate, McGloin's leadership has put him in a position of unquestioned leadership in and out of the locker room.