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Penn State Football: McGloin Looking to Shine in O'Brien's Offense

by on August 14, 2012 6:00 AM

As a dozen or so media outlets surrounded the three-year veteran quarterback, you wouldn't have known that four years ago Matt McGloin was a walk-on, just looking for a chance to throw the ball, probably never expecting to play outside of a Blue-White game.

Instead, McGloin has led Penn State to some of its most memorable victories. While the NCAA record book may never reflect the efforts of the past 14 seasons, the memories and experiences that Penn State fans have had while McGloin was under center the past two years have been some of the brightest in the program's history — even while their historical existence has been erased from official record.

Even so, McGloin has seen his fair share of critics. A five-interception bowl game, a perhaps hindering self-confidence, and a handful of bold throws have had almost every Penn State fan shaking their head from time to time.

But like each of his five interceptions during the 2011 season, McGloin has brushed off the critics and is looking for one final, and even one official, game and season as a starter for the Nittany Lions.

"It's great, it's the offense that I've always dreamed of playing in," McGloin said standing on the unpainted Beaver Stadium field. "Let me go out there, and let me play my game, to have such a special coach teach us this offense is a great opportunity."

Even with three years under his belt, there isn't any doubt McGloin has a chip on his shoulder. With the new offensive system under coach Bill O'Brien, it's clear he's looking forward to proving his worth. A new quarterback coach hasn't hurt his confidence either.

"Coach [Charlie] Fisher works harder than any quarterbacks coach I've ever been with, any coach I've been around," McGloin said. "I have a notebook full of notes just from him, it's truly amazing how hard he works.

"Coach O'Brien and Coach Fisher do a great job relaying to you how to recognize coverages, certain things that will tip off to you what the defense is trying to do. We've never really had that before and how they have relayed that to me has been tremendous. 

"We're definitely not used to having control of the offense, Coach O'Brien puts a lot of faith in us, and we're going to go out and execute the best we can. You're going to see different quarterbacks out there, especially with mechanics which is something Coach Fisher stresses."

But what does the new quarterbacks coach, a man who helped grow NFL quarterback Jay Cutler while at Vanderbilt think of his latest study? The confidence is there as well. 

"That's the thing I love about Matt McGloin, he's confident, he's competitive, he seems to be able to shake off a tough play." Fisher said. "You need that at quarterback, he wants the ball in his hands and he wants to make the big play.

"He's gotten in there on his own, worked on film, studied defenses, he's had a good of summer as anybody we've had in the program. Matt had natural leadership ability, and when Coach O'Brien named him the starter he had a sense of belief that Coach O'Brien and the staff had in him and he took it and ran with it. We're excited to see Matt play and I expect him to do well."

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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