A tall, athletic quarterback with a strong arm and able to make plays with his feet. Those are the words some would use to describe former Penn State quarterback Robert Bolden. However, if you were to ask a LSU fan who heard that description, only one person comes to mind: Jordan Jefferson.
Not surprisingly, there was a collective groan out of Baton Rouge when news first broke that Robert Bolden had interest in LSU. For the first time in four years, LSU does not have to deal with a quarterback quagmire involving Jordan Jefferson or Jarrett Lee. It is supposed to be a brand new day, with a brand new quarterback named Zach Mettenberger.
Bringing in another quarterback from a high profile school immediately makes you think that he will compete for starting time. At the very least, he has a different skill set than Mettenberger, so they might share the position. That just sounds too much like the past four years for people to welcome this thought.
As a LSU fan, I didn’t know what to think when I first heard the news. I only watched a handful of games in which Bolden played and even then I remember him in a quarterback platoon at Penn State, again something I often associate with Jefferson. In doing a little research on Bolden, the first thing I find is this comparison.
As much as I hate the idea of a quarterback platoon or a return to the read option offense (I absolutely hate it), I was in favor of the move for one reason: depth at the quarterback position. While I believe Zach Mettenberger is the answer to a lot of LSU’s offensive woes, there are only two quarterbacks behind him, both redshirt freshmen. If the unthinkable happens to Mettenberger, LSU is right back in 2008 with a QB that isn’t ready at the most important position.
Stephen Rivers or Jerrod Randle may become competent SEC quarterbacks, but they are not ready to be thrown into their first meaningful game this soon. As underwhelming as Bolden’s career has been to this point, he has 20 games of experience. That is valued experience at the backup position.
From that position, this is the move LSU has to make. They are in a position to win a title and cannot afford an injury to derail the season. If Mettenberger gets injured at a crucial point in a make or break game, who do you want going into the game: a redshirt freshman with no experience to handle the situation or a veteran that has played in some big spots? This is the right move for LSU, one that could have a huge impact on the season.
What do you think of Bolden? Should LSU make a move for him? Also, be sure to stay tuned for more articles from E Chad Metz, who will be posting about the SEC throughout the collegiate football season.