DALLAS - With each day that passes, it becomes increasingly likely that Rob Bolden will start at quarterback for Penn State in Monday's TicketCity Bowl against Houston.
Starter Matt McGloin did not practice again on Thursday and his status remains up in the air. The redshirt junior from Scranton has not practiced since Dec. 17 when he suffered a concussion and a seizure from a post-practice scuffle with wide receiver Curtis Drake, a West Catholic sophomore who will not play Monday.
In McGloin's absence, Bolden has been taking a majority of the first-team repetitions in practice.
"There's no doubt in my mind that I can go out there and do what I need to do," Bolden said.
Bolden, a sophomore, started the first seven games of the season, splitting time with McGloin in each, and McGloin started the final five. Bolden played meaningful snaps in only one game after Oct. 15, his last start, and has recorded just 11 pass attempts since that time.
On the season, Bolden was 46 of 109 for 548 passing yards with just one touchdown and four interceptions. McGloin, who was not available for comment on Thursday, was 125 of 231 for 1,571 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions on the season.
Though he hasn't garnered much playing time lately, Bolden said he does not expect to be rusty if his number is called and the bowl game would be a chance for him to prove himself.
After last year's Outback Bowl, in which McGloin played the entire game and threw five interceptions, Bolden asked to be released from his scholarship so he could transfer. Then-coach Joe Paterno turned down his request and Bolden stayed.
When asked if he might leave after this season, Bolden said he hadn't even thought about leaving yet and he's "all in" with his current team. Bolden said "based on today, yes" he would be back next season.
Junior defensive tackle Jordan Hill said he expects to hear from the NFL draft advisory board in the next couple days. Hill applied a couple of weeks ago to get the board's opinion on where he might be drafted if he decided to declare a year early.
However, Hill said "it would take a lot" for him to leave Penn State and hinted the only thing that might change his mind would be a first- or second-round projection. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for April's draft is Jan. 15.
"I really want to come back for my senior year. I love Penn State," Hill said. I'm "just weighing my options. I don't know what will happen in the future but as of right now my plan is to stay."
Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still, defensive end Jack Crawford (St. Augustine's Prep), cornerback D'Anton Lynn and guard Johnnie Troutman were all recently invited to the Senior Bowl, which will be played on Jan. 28 in Mobile, Ala.
"It means a lot," Troutman said. "Just another place I can prove myself hopefully for the NFL. Just go out there and show them what Penn State players are all about."