PSU football: McGloin’s amazing story shows ultimate underdog

Christian Hackenberg was a five-star recruit. So was Anthony Morelli.

Penn State’s recent four-star quarterback recruits include Rob Bolden, Pat Devlin, Paul Jones and Kevin Newsome.

I can hear your collective groans.

Not a single one of those guys ever went on to start a game at quarterback in the NFL.

You know who did?

Of course you do.

Matt McGloin.

A zero-star recruit. A walk-on. A guy who had the biggest chip on his shoulder that you’ll ever see.

A guy with … wait for it … moxie.

I never get tired of writing or talking about McGloin. In my 15 years on the Penn State beat, he is my favorite player that I’ve covered.

When you’re talking unheralded recruits, it just doesn’t get any better than McGloin, the scrappy Scranton kid who battled his tail off, never stopped believing in himself and proved everyone wrong.

The only person who ever believed that McGloin could get the job done was McGloin.

Joe and Jay Paterno didn’t really believe in him. They kept running out Bolden, who was awful, as PSU’s starting quarterback deep into the 2011 season.

McGloin was so vastly superior to Bolden that you just had to wonder what the heck truly was going on there. Did Joe and Jay promise Bolden something? Did they not want to turn the job over to a walk-on for fear of how bad it would look?

I cannot wait for McGloin, who is extremely candid — something those of us in the media loved when covering him — finally gets around to writing a book detailing his thoughts on what that whole nutty QB situation was all about.

Anyway, we all know what happened with McGloin.

Bill O’Brien took over as coach in 2012, and McGloin finally had someone else who believed in him. The QB excelled as a senior, throwing for 3,271 yards with 24 TDs and five interceptions.

Of course, McGloin went undrafted. And of course, that didn’t matter. It was yet another obstacle for him to overcome.

He did that and started seven games in the NFL as a quarterback, playing in 13 total. Yeah, he was only 1-6 in those seven starts, but honestly, who cares.

Matt McGloin made it. He also made $4.1 million playing quarterback in the NFL.

No other quarterback who has played for Penn State this century has gone on to start a game at QB in the NFL.

Only McGloin.

The ultimate underdog.

Cory Giger is editor of NittanySportsNow.com and host of “Sports Central” weekdays from 3-4 on WRTA. He can be reached at cgsports12@aol.com.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)


Starting at $4.39/week.

Subscribe Today