Five-Step Drop: JoePa Traps Bolden
1. Rob Bolden wants to leave Penn State to look for another program in need of a quarterback. He can't go unless Penn State agrees to release him from his national letter of intent, and Joe Paterno is refusing to do so. CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel says the current scholarship system is unfair and the purgatory Bolden is trapped in points out just how unfair it really is. Penn State apparently isn't going to use Bolden, so why insist he can't leave? Football is like love; there's no use pining over somebody who just doesn't want to be with you.
2. Thursday, Wisconsin defensive lineman J.J. Watt announced he was going pro. A first-team All-Big Ten selection, Watt made 21 tackles for loss this season, good enough for third in the nation. Watt has a tremendous motor and will probably be haunting Pat Fitzgerald's dreams for years to come. He started out as a tight end at Central Michigan, but that's just one of many amazing things in Watt's backstory. I had no idea he'd been on a reality show. I promise not to hold that against him.
3. Stanford's success isn't just raising Jim Harbaugh's coaching stock. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Cardinal associate head coach Greg Roman will interview for the Pitt job. This is interesting since many Twitter posts on Thursday suggested the job had been offered to Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, and Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst had also been in the mix. Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson also wants us to know the university did a background check on Mike Haywood and found nothing to indicate any issues in his past.
4. Rich Rodriguez may not have been able to return Michigan football to its former glory, but one man says Rodriguez got him to walk again. Brock Mealer, whose brother Elliott is an offensive lineman for the Wolverines, got lots of encouragement from Rodriguez as he recovered from injuries suffered in a traffic accident. "He believed in me, and I believed in him," Mealer said. "I wouldn't be where I am today if they hadn't believed in me." Coaches get a lot of nasty things said about them, and Rodriguez is certainly no exception, but anybody who would make time to help a player's brother learn to walk again deserves credit. Rodriguez deserves extra credit, though. Brock Mealer is an Ohio State graduate.
5. Yesterday we brought you news of Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis returning for his senior season with his stated goal of winning a national championship. He's not the only Sooner putting off the pros for one more shot at the crystal football. Wide receiver Ryan Broyles is also returning to OU for one more year. Broyles needs only 50 receptions to become the NCAA's all-time leader in receptions and 1,576 yards to become its all-time leader in receiving yardage. The former of those is easily within his reach; the latter is possible if he matches this season's level of performance.