Rob Bolden’s stint as a Penn State quarterback appears to be over.
The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported Sunday afternoon that Bolden visited Southeasten Conference power LSU this past weekend. Bolden started Penn State’s past two season openers. In 2010, he became the first and only true freshman quarterback to start a season opener in former coach Joe Paterno’s
46 years as head coach.
On Sunday night, Penn State removed Bolden’s name from its online roster, making the junior the first former starter to leave the team since the NCAA hit the school with severe sanctions in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. Bolden was listed as third string behind senior Matt McGloin and sophomore Paul Jones when coach Bill O’Brien released his summer depth chart last month. McGloin and Jones are both committed to staying at Penn State this season.
Bolden, who missed multiple voluntary workouts in May, joined McGloin, Jones and true freshman Steven Bench as scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. Bench arrived on campus last month, and the Georgia native has committed to staying at the school.
Senior Shane McGregor, junior Garrett Venuto and freshman Tyler Lucas are the other quarterbacks on the current roster. Lucas is a Bellefonte High School graduate.
Christian Hackenberg, a key part of Penn State’s 2013 recruiting class, reaffirmed his commitment this weekend and will give the program another scholarship quarterback next season.
LSU, which lost to Alabama in last year’s Bowl Championship Series title game, is replacing 2011 starters Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee with former junior college transfer Zach Mettenberger. Redshirt freshmen Stephen Rivers and Jerrard Randall are Mettenberger’s backups.
Bolden, a Michigan native, completed 165 of 328 passes for 2,045 yards in two seasons. He started last season’s TicketCity Bowl after McGloin suffered a concussion in a post-practice scuffle with then-teammate Curtis Drake.
Bolden threw 14 interceptions and just seven touchdowns passes in 20 games at Penn State.
The NCAA granted current Penn State players and incoming freshmen a transfer waiver after the organization levied sanctions against the school last week. The waiver allows players to transfer without having to sit out a season. A $60 million fine, four-year bowl ban and scholarship reductions are among the sanctions.
Junior running back Silas Redd is the top player reportedly considering his options. Redd, who rushed for 1,241 yards on 244 carries last season, is being courted by Southerm California.
The Trojans, who are already facing sanctions because of payments from agents to the parents of former star running back Reggie Bush, could be on the NCAA’s radar for their recruitment of Redd. USC backup quarterback Max Wittek was quoted in multiple stories, including one published by the Los Angeles Times, about the Penn State junior. Redd and Wittek played youth football together in Connecticut.
NCAA rules forbid coaches and players from publicly commenting about recruits. USC emailed reporters who cover the team requesting that players not be asked about recruits or quoted, according the Los Angeles Times.
A two-year bowl ban and the loss of 30 scholarships are among the sanctions USC received for the incident involving Bush. The bowl ban ends this season.
Curtis Neal, a 1,000-yard rusher last season, returns at tailback for USC. The Trojans have little depth behind McNeal.
Linebackers Khairi Fortt and Mike Hull and kicker Anthony Fera are other key players who haven’t reaffirmed their commitments to Penn State for 2012.
O’Brien said at Big Ten media days that he was only “two or three” players away from having the core of his team together for 2012.
The Nittany Lions begin preseason practices Aug. 6.
Guy Cipriano can be reached at 231-4643. Follow him on Twitter @cdtguy