Robert Craig Bolden, Jr. (born February 20, 1992) is a former American football quarterback. After attending St. Mary's Preparatory School in Orchard Lake, Michigan, he played college football for the Penn State Nittany Lions from 2010 to 2011. He transferred to Louisiana State University and was a member of the LSU football team from 2012 to 2013. Bolden transferred again and finished his college football career as a member of the 2014 Eastern Michigan Eagles football team.
|Born:||February 20, 1992|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||218 lb (99 kg)|
|High school:||St. Mary's Preparatory|
(Orchard Lake Village, Michigan)
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Orchard Lake, Michigan||St. Mary's Preparatory||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||195 lb (88 kg)||4.5||Jul 10, 2009|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 8 (QB) Rivals: 2 (QB), 3 (MI)|
Bolden committed to Penn State University on July 10, 2009. He also had football scholarship offers from the University of Oregon, Michigan State University, Virginia Tech, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Nebraska, among others.
After arriving on campus in June, Bolden beat out two sophomores, Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin, and another highly recruited freshman, Paul Jones, to win the starting quarterback job for the first game of the 2010 season against Youngstown State. Bolden became the first true freshman quarterback under head coach Joe Paterno to start the opening game of the season, and the first since Wally Richardson in 1992 to start any game of their freshman season. Bolden was also the first true freshman quarterback at Penn State to start the season since Shorty Miller in 1910. On his decision to name Bolden as the starting quarterback, Paterno said, "He has got an arm, he's got a little poise, he did some things a little better than the other guys on more occasions. There are days I came off the field not knowing who I wanted to play."
Bolden played his first collegiate football game on September 4, 2010, for the Nittany Lions in the season opener against Youngstown State. Despite a shaky beginning, Bolden exhibited an overall solid performance in Penn State's 44-14 rout of Youngstown State, finishing 20-29 for 239 yards passing for two touchdowns and one interception.
Against Alabama, he went 13-for-29 for 144 yards, but two red zone interceptions marred the Nittany Lions' chances in the 24–3 loss. Bolden finished 12-of-27 for 217 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in a 24–0 shutout of Kent State. Against Temple, he went 18-for-28 for 223 yards and no touchdowns. Against Iowa, Bolden went 20-of-37 for 212 yards and an interception. Penn State lost the game 24-3 after Bolden threw an interception that went for an opposing touchdown at the end of the game.
Bolden went 8-for-21 for 142 yards, one touchdown, and one interception against Illinois. He threw an 80-yard play-action touchdown pass following his second pick six of the year. Against Minnesota, he rebounded, going 11-for-13 for 130 yards and one touchdown before suffering an injury on an option play. He was pulled from the game with a concussion and was relieved by McGloin, who went 6-for-13 for 76 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in his place. McGloin was named the starting quarterback following three straight wins in Bolden's absence, including the comeback win against Minnesota.
On January 2, 2011, Rob Bolden Sr. announced his son's plans to transfer out of Penn State. On January 3, Bolden and his father met with head coach Paterno and quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno in State College, Pennsylvania, to discuss the transfer. Joe Paterno informed Bolden that he would not grant a release from his scholarship. Bolden decided to then stay at Penn State and not transfer. On January 2, 2012, Bolden started in the place of McGloin, who had been injured in a locker room fight with teammate Curtis Drake, in the TicketCity Bowl against Houston. Bolden and the Nittany Lions struggled and lost 30–14. Bolden completed 7-of-26 passes for 137 yards, one touchdown pass, and three interceptions. He also rushed six times for 16 yards.
In the first depth chart released by new head coach Bill O'Brien after spring practices, Bolden was listed as the third-string quarterback, behind McGloin and Jones. After being released from his scholarship, Bolden took an official visit to LSU on July 29, 2012. Because of the NCAA's sanctions on Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, Bolden was free to transfer to any FBS program without limitation.
Bolden announced his decision to transfer to LSU on August 1, 2012. He lost the 2013 backup quarterback job to Anthony Jennings, and was the 4th string QB behind Jennings, Stephen Rivers and Zach Mettenberger. Bolden missed 2013 spring camp due to an injury.
Bolden did not see the field during the 2013 season and was even changed to a wide receiver in the spring of 2014 before he transferred to Eastern Michigan to finish his college career close to home.
Bolden went undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft. After the draft, he accepted an invitation to attend the Detroit Lions rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis. He was not offered a contract at the end of the rookie mini-camp.
- "Robert Bolden". Rivals.com. Retrieved October 7, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Rob Bolden". Scout.com. Retrieved October 7, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Frosh Bolden tabbed No. 19 Penn State starting QB". Yahoo.com. Retrieved September 4, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Freshman QB Bolden getting extremely rare opportunity". Pittsburgh tribune Review. Retrieved September 3, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Armas, Genaro C. (September 5, 2010). "Bolden's solid debut validates JoePa's pick". Chicago Sun-Times.
- DiPaola, Jerry (November 12, 2010). "'Cocky kid' McGloin rejuvenates Penn State". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved November 12, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Penn State decides on Matt McGloin as starting quarterback against Ohio State". USA Today. November 9, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Giger, Cory (January 8, 2011). "Bolden decides to stay at Penn State". Altoona Mirror. Retrieved January 8, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Watson, Graham (July 29, 2012). "QB Rob Bolden may finally follow through on transferring from Penn State after LSU comes knocking". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved July 30, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "LSU players tab senior linebacker Lamin Barrow to don No. 18: Notebook". NOLA.com. August 5, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Rob Bolden's transfer to EMU is official". NBC Sports/College Football Talk. July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Twentyman, Tim (May 8, 2015). "31 tryout players attending rookie minicamp". detroitlions.com. Retrieved May 1, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)