Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin detests the term walk-on. He doesn’t detest being considered one of the best players who once didn’t own a scholarship.
McGloin is one of 10 semifinalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, an honor given to the top player who started his career as a walk-on. The semifinalists were revealed Wednesday, one day after McGloin answered a question about the irony of somebody who never liked being called a walk-on contending for an award that honors one.
“I’m definitely honored to be a part of that,” he said. “Every time you are up for an award, it’s exciting. You want to win it. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing if I’m one of the finalists and still standing.”
For the record, McGloin was placed on scholarship 2010. He was the only walk-on to start at quarterback in Joe Paterno’s 44-year stint as head coach.
Competition for the Burlsworth Trophy is steep. Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, Nebraska guard Spencer Long and Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs are among the other nine semifinalists for the award. Finalists will be announced next Tuesday.
McGloin ends his career Saturday against Wisconsin at Beaver Stadium. Wisconsin’s roster includes quarterback Danny O’Brien, a Maryland transfer who took a recruiting visit to Penn State last spring.
When O’Brien visited Penn State, McGloin was locked in a three-way competition with Paul Jones and Rob Bolden for the starting quarterback job. If O’Brien decided to attend Penn State, McGloin would have been competing against three players for a job he has excelled at.
“I have been competing since I got here, but if they brought in another guy, I probably wouldn’t have cared,” said McGloin, who leads the Big Ten with 3,071 passing yards. “If he came here or not, it wouldn’t have bothered me.”
Alabama defensive lineman commits to Penn State
Hazel Green (Ala.) defensive lineman Parker Cothren has joined Penn State’s recruiting class after de-committing from Purdue.
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Cothren becomes the 13th player in the class. He is rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com.
He’s one of three southern players in the class. Northview (Fla.) safety Neiko Robinson and Grayson (Ga.) defensive back Kasey Gaines committed to Penn State earlier this year. Defensive coordinator Ted Roof, who worked at Auburn from 2009-11, is one of multiple coaches with southern ties on Penn State’s coaching staff.
Cothren combines with Council Rock North’s Curtis Cothran and New Jersey star Garrett Sickels to give Penn State three defensive line recruits.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson could join one of the smallest groups in Penn State football history on Saturday.
The sophomore needs 22 yards to become the second player in school history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a single season. Bobby Engram exceeded 1,000 yards in 1994 and ’95.
Robinson has accumulated 30 or more receiving yards in every game this season.
“It would mean a lot to me,” he said of reaching 1,000 receiving yards. “I’m only about (22) yards short. I’m definitely going to have to play well against this good Wisconsin team coming in here and I know that my team is going to need me on Saturday. I’m not really focusing on how many yards I can get. I want to help my team get a win.”
Follow Guy Cipriano on Twitter @cdtguy.