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Position breakdown: Quarterback

8/20/2012

Each day for the next week NittanyNation will take a look at a different position and break it down. Today it's quarterback.

It seems like a lifetime since Penn State had a clear-cut No. 1 here. But Bill O'Brien anointed Matt McGloin the starter in early June and -- with Rob Bolden's transfer to LSU -- any possible controversy has been shelved for good.

McGloin has played in 21 games since his redshirt sophomore season and has the potential to go down as one of Penn State's most memorable signal-callers. Not only did he fight through the depth chart as a preferred walk-on, but he's quietly crawled to No. 13 in the record books for career passing yardage (3,119 yards). He'll be No. 2 -- behind Zack Mills -- if he throws for 2,751 yards this season.

McGloin is the most critical piece to the Nittany Lions. If he fares well, so will Penn State.

Positives

• If anyone can coach up McGloin, it's the men who taught Tom Brady (head coach Bill O'Brien) and Jay Cutler (QB coach Charlie Fisher).

• A new offense that will further help McGloin by involving the tailback and tight ends.

• McGloin is a seasoned fifth-year player and unquestioned leader who doesn't get down on himself when he's trailing.

Negatives

• McGloin sometimes puts too much pressure on himself and could force a few balls that lead to turnovers.

• His top-3 targets last season (Derek Moye, Devon Smith, Justin Brown) are all gone.

• New playbook might take him a few games to feel comfortable.