STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Kevin Newsome was considered the leading candidate in preseason to become Penn State's starting quarterback in 2010. Now he's pretty much the forgotten man.
Newsome, the backup to Daryll Clark last season, is buried on the Nittany Lions' depth chart behind Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden and has not played since the Oct. 23 game against Minnesota. A report Thursday on the Blue-White Illustrated website said the sophomore was considering a transfer.
Penn State coach Joe Paterno said Friday he talked to Newsome a week ago, and would talk to him again next week after the conclusion of final exams.
"He's very anxious to play, and nobody can guarantee anything," he said. "I'm trying to make sure he gets an honest shot at being the quarterback. We think he's a fine prospect. But having said that, at this stage, he's not quite as far along as the other two kids.
"So it's a tough call for us, and obviously it's a tough call for him because he does want to play and he doesn't particular want to wait forever to play. My advice to him was, suck it up for now and for the spring, see what happens then, and then at the end of spring practice, let's sit down and decide on what kind of future you may have at Penn State as a football player."
Paterno acknowledged that the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Newsome "can play a lot of positions, but he wants to be a quarterback."
Two of Penn State's assistant coaches, defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden, have been mentioned as candidates for the head coaching jobs at Pittsburgh and Ball State, respectively.
Without mentioning anyone by name, Paterno said he didn't want to see anyone leave.
"This is a pretty nice place to work," said Paterno, who has been at Penn State since 1950. "It's a good place to live. I would hope that we would be able to keep all our people. But I can't guarantee that. Whatever's best for them is best for all of us."
According to reports, Bradley, who has been coaching at Penn State for 32 years, is still trying to assess the Pitt situation to see if he will pursue it. Vanderlinden, in his 10th season in Happy Valley, was an assistant coach at Ball State in the early 1980s.
Paterno said Penn State officials approached the Phillies about the possibility of practicing in Clearwater at the team's spring training facility for several days before the official start of Outback Bowl week.
However, he said the Phillies "were a little bit reluctant to guarantee that they would not be there."
The Nittany Lions are scheduled to leave Dec. 19 for Florida. Paterno likes the team to practice and stay somewhere else before going to the hotel and practice facility assigned to them by the bowl committee.
In this case, however, the Lions probably will spend the entire two weeks in Tampa, he said.