After spending the first summer session with his family in Michigan, Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden is back in Happy Valley, ready to compete for the Nittany Lions' starting spot this preseason. Blue White Illustrated caught up with him at Friday's Lift for Life in an exclusive one-on-one interview. Check it out, right here!
BWI: You're not participating today. We just talked about it but can you explain to our viewers what happened?
Bolden: It was on the faculty. They decided that it was best if I stay out, so I just came out and supported my guys. I was on a team and they removed me from it because they tought it was the best thing to do.
BWI: How has your summer been?
Bolden: It's been great. I got a lot smarter. Got a lot better. I've been throwing the ball. I got to go home and vacation for a while. Get away, clear my mind. I'm back now. I've been lifting, I'm running, I'm in shape. Everything is great.
BWI: Was that good to get away for a little bit after the spring semester?
Bolden: It was great to get home and be with your fam and relax for a while. I was still working out obviously, but it was just cool to be away for a while and then come back and get right back into things.
BWI: What specifically do you want to improve upon going into preseason camp?
Bolden: Everything. Obviously there are some things that need more work than others. I've been working on a lot of footwork, and I've been in that film room. That film room helps so much. Every time I watch a game from last year, I've watched every single one like three or four times with my pops back home and when Daryll (Clark) was up here, just taking advantage of everything that everybody has to offer. It definitely helps.
BWI: Can you just explain that further, the film study?
Bolden: Everytime, I would replay every play like five times, just going over what I did specifically, why does this ball go far, was my elbow down, my foot? my shoulder? I go over that type of stuff and then I go over to the defense. Why did I make that decision to go here or there? It's just a lot of things I go over for just one play and it definitely benefits when I get out on the field to see those things.
BWI: Has that paid dividends working out with your teammates in Drill Six?
Bolden: I'm picking up on things a lot faster now, just seeing things on film. Obviously the defense that we have is different from those that we play against, but even those same things that they do now, I'm picking up on it a lot faster and getting the ball out a lot quicker, so that's definitely going to help my game a lot going into the future.
BWI: If there was a criticism of you last year, it's that your demeanor was on the shy side. It seems like you've developed since then.
Bolden: Last year, it's hard for any freshman to come in and kind of take a team over and grab it, speak up a little bit. I did it enough last year. I obviously could have done it a little more, but it was kind of hard. Now, I'm here and I know everybody and I'll light into anybody at anytime. I don't care. I'm good to go now. You're going to hear my voice a little more.
BWI: Does that make things easier for you?
Bolden: It makes it a lot easier. Guys, they respect you a little more just because you can speak up and tell them they're wrong when they do wrong, and the same for me. I want somebody to tell me when I do wrong. Coach me. Helping me get better is going to do nothing else but help the team in the end.
BWI: How does the relationship with the receivers work? Are you taking tips from Moye or does it work both ways?
Bolden: It goes back and forth. If I see anything, I will point it out to anybody so they can help their game. If they see anything that I can do to help my game, I'm going to do it. Constructive criticism. I'm not going to turn any of it away if it can help me get better. If you can help me... what you got?
BWI: Everyone is expecting another preseason QB competition. What is your mindset going into it?
Bolden: It's the same as last year when I got here. I got here and I was pretty much thinking of nothing else but taking that spot and running with it. I'm going to do the same thing this year. I'm trying to get better, and I'm going to do everything that I need to do so you can see me on the field in the fall.