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Penn State Football: Not To Be Forgotten, Bolden's NFL Dream Comes True

by on May 03, 2015 10:15 AM

If you had gone to bed at any decent hour on Saturday you would have missed it.

A single tweet by former Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden that stated what may have otherwise seemed impossible a few short years ago.

The Detroit native had signed as a free agent with the Detroit Lions.

"Coming from my city man I'm so hype for his opportunity," Bolden tweeted. "I get to show what I can do right in my backyard! I'm forever thankful I thank God for this chance."

For Bolden it is a fitting end to incredible and unlikely journey. From the great young hope of Penn State football as a freshman to the personification of the dysfunction that would become the final years of the Paterno era. Bolden' struggles at Penn State were equal parts mismanagement and his perhaps steeper-than-advertised learning curve as a true freshman tasked with guiding the offense.

Whatever the true cause of his issues, Bolden faced an obstacle filled career. He faced being booed. He faced being replaced on the field at random intervals. He faced a reality that even as he tried to leave Penn State, his transfer request was initially blocked. He could not even leave a school where he was essentially no longer wanted or needed.

When the release finally came it saw Bolden travel from Penn State to LSU before finally finishing his career at quarterback for Eastern Michigan. Bolden tested the limits of how long an athlete can stretch out his eligibliity.

During very little of this would anyone have pegged Bolden for a future in the NFL. Be it his own struggles at the quarterback position or the turbulent nature in which his career has progressed. The odds simply didn't seem to be stacked in his favor.

But in sports, much like in life, Bolden was rewarded for staying the course. He could have left the dream behind long ago, and nobody would have blamed him.

Rob Bolden kept fighting though, and now he will try and find a roster spot on an NFL team that he has grown up loving.

And there are few rewards in sports greater than that. 

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