Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden, a former four-star recruit who is free to play immediately if he transfers to another school, made a visit on LSU’s campus this weekend, according to a source close to the situation.
Bolden, a 6-foot-3, 214-pound junior who played high school football in Orchard Lake, Mich., has spent the past two seasons at Penn State in what’s been an up-and-down college career.
In 2010, he had the distinction of being the first freshman quarterback to start a season opener for Joe Paterno, leading the Nittany Lions to a 44-14 win over Youngtown State.
That year, Bolden completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,360 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions — but he lost the starting job after suffering a concussion in October.
At the end of that season, Bolden requested a transfer. Paterno denied the request.
Bolden returned to Penn State and continued playing as a backup to Matt McGloin.
Bolden completed 39 percent of his passes for 685 yards, two touchdowns and seven interceptions.
New coach Bill O’Brien has already announced that McGloin will be his starting quarterback this season.
The NCAA came down hard on Penn State last week, hitting the school with a $60 million fine, a postseason ban and scholarship limitations in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Also, the NCAA is allowing current Penn State players to transfer and play immediately at other schools (typically, players who transfer to another Football Bowl Subdivision school must sit out a year).
Starting tailback Silas Redd visited Southern California last week, but as of Sunday, had not announced plans to transfer or stay at Penn State.
Also, according to several reports, Big Ten rival Illinois dispatched several assistant coaches to State College, Pa., to recruit current Penn State players.
According to StateCollege.com, reporters asked O’Brien about Bolden’s status last week at Big Ten Media Days. His reply: “At this point he’s with us, and that’s all I can comment on.”
Attempts to reach Bolden’s father, Robert, were unsuccessful Sunday.
Bolden was one of the most mobile quarterback prospects in the Class of 2010. Rivals and Scout gave him four-star ratings and ranked Bolden among the nation’s top 10 at his position.
Should Bolden ultimately transfer to LSU, he would fortify a position that’s wafer-thin on experience.
Zach Mettenberger, who takes over as the Tigers’ starting quarterback, threw 11 pass attempts as a sophomore last season.
The team’s only two backups are Stephen Rivers and Jerrard Randall, who redshirted last season.
LSU signee Jeremy Liggins, who would be a true freshman this season, also signed to play this fall at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. His status with LSU remains unclear.
LSU picked up its third commitment for the Class of 2014 on Sunday when athlete prospect Devin Voorhies of Woodville (Miss.) Wilkinson County.
Voorhies (6-1, 185) is a four-star prospect according to 24/7 Sports, which ranks him No. 68 in the nation for 2014, the No. 5 safety prospect and No. 2 recruit in the state of Mississippi.
ESPN, Rivals and Scout have not ranked Voorhies yet.
Voorhies told Scout.com that he thought he surprised LSU coach Les Miles with his pledge when Miles offered him a scholarship.
“I don’t think he thought I was going to make my decision this early,” Voorhies said.
Voorhies committed after touring the LSU campus during an unofficial visit.
“The more I saw the more I liked,” Voorhies said.
“LSU is close to home and really it’s where I always wanted to go. Coach Miles said that they wanted me, so I didn’t see any reason to wait.”
The Tigers have 21 commitments for 2013, a class that is ranked as high as No. 4 nationally (Rivals).