Following the disappointing fall to Ohio State this past Saturday, I couldn’t help but wonder and worry about the future of Penn State's offense. Seated on the cold, metal panel bleachers along the 50-yard line, my mind began to fast forward to the 2010 season ahead.
To be honest, after the loss, that’s all I wanted to think about. Our hopes of going to a major BCS Bowl game had been seized out of the hands of Daryll Clark by the Ohio State defensive line.
With my seating directly behind the Penn State bench, I couldn’t help but look down at the freshman and sophomores standing in somewhat of a line all the way down the sidelines. Staring at the white numbers laced on their blue jerseys, I felt unsure if they were ready to carry the weight of Penn State football on their shoulders.
What particularly concerns me the most is the replacement of fifth-year senior, Daryll Clark.
As of right now, it seems kind of up in the air. At one point, Clark was in the running for the Heisman Trophy. However, with a few lackluster performances and no signature wins, Clark quickly faded behind in the race.
Will it be Kevin Newsome? Newsome was once an ESPN Top 150 prospect whose college choices included Michigan, Virginia Tech, and Ohio State. Now, fans seem to be quite disappointed with the outcome when Newsome hits the field.
Experience for Newsome is greatly needed, in every sense of the word.
The quarterback has played six of the 10 games the Nittany Lions have played this season; he seems to have no problem running but has not had one touchdown thus far. His stats, eight completions of 11 attempts, don’t sound so bad; but for a quarterback who could possibly be a starter, he needs to improve significantly.
Granted, he needs time, completely fulfilling the quarterback position is one of the most difficult tasks in football. It puts both athleticism and intelligence to work. Learning the playbook, receivers and total offense can’t be done over night. But come Spring 2010, Newsome would have been at Penn State for a full year-enough time for him to adjust.
With the “so-so” performance of Newsome, I begin to consider the two quarterbacks currently committed to Penn State: Robert Bolden and Paul Jones. One could be the next to lead Penn State in 2010 and join the likes of other programs (Ohio State, Michigan, and USC) that have starting true freshman quarterbacks.
Rivals rates Bolden as a four-star athlete and No. 3 quarterback in the state of Michigan. Bolden stands tall at a staggering 6’4" and could easily play at 225 pounds (he is currently 195). Some say he possesses possibly the strongest arm in the country. Even NFL QB, Rob Johnson envied his arm strength during the EA Sports Elite 11 this summer.
Number four QB in Pennsylvania, Jones, is another four-star athlete expected to grace the campus of Penn State this fall. His physical stature is that of Eagles’ quarterback, Donovan McNabb; Jones is 6’3" at about 226 pounds. However, Rivals says that Jones has a few areas of improvement he needs to work on despite his strong arm and excellent mobility.
Knowing Penn State, my guess is they’ll give Newsome a go at it first. Penn State is very traditional and sticks to the basics. It’s a pattern of seniority that I’m not so sure JoePa is willing to change.
After watching some highlights, I would conclude Bolden is the best of the three. Personally, I think if Bolden had been here the amount of time Newsome has, he would have definitely had a leg up on him.
Time will tell how this offense pulls together behind its inevitable new quarterback. Before you know it the 2010 season would have began as quickly as the 2009 season blew by.