The much-anticipated arrival of the LSU football team on campus Wednesday comes with the addition of one quarterback while another will be a no-show.
Former Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden is expected to be among the 105 players checking in, one day ahead of Thursday’s start of two-a-day practices.
Meanwhile, LSU quarterback signee Jeremy Liggins of Oxford, Miss., is back in his home state, preparing to start his college career at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College after apparently coming up short of NCAA eligibility requirements.
Bolden (6-foot-3, 214 pounds) was given permission by Penn State to contact other schools on July 22, one day before the NCAA hammered the Nittany Lions program with unprecedented sanctions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal.
Bolden visited the LSU campus over the weekend, according to a source.
Bolden (6-foot-3, 214 pounds) is a junior from Orchard Lake, Mich. He has three years left in which to complete his final two years of eligibility.
As part of the sanctions, the NCAA ruled that any Penn State players wishing to transfer could do so without having to sit out a year, as is normal when moving from one Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) school to another.
Former Penn State players wishing to leave the program also do not count against a team’s scholarship limits.
Meanwhile, Liggins has been enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast since July and has been taking part in preseason workouts there all summer, according to Bill Snyder, sports information director at MGCCC.
MGCCC players officially report Aug. 8. The 6-3 Liggins came to school this summer at about 265 pounds, Snyder said.
In 2010, Bolden became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Penn State in 100 years. He started eight games that season and eight again in 2011, including the Nittany Lions’ appearance in January’s Ticket City Bowl in Dallas, a 30-14 loss to Houston.
For his career at Penn State, Bolden completed 165 of 328 passes for 2,045 yards with seven touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Regarded as a run-pass threat, Bolden also had 59 career rushing attempts for a net 27 yards and one touchdown.
Bolden’s arrival would add significantly to the Tigers’ depth behind projected starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger, himself a transfer last year to LSU from Butler (Kan.) Community College.
Besides Mettenberger, LSU’s only two other two scholarship quarterbacks are a pair of redshirt freshmen: Stephen Rivers and Jerrard Randall. Rivers is considered to be the Tigers’ No. 2 quarterback behind Mettenberger.
In addition to Bolden, two other Penn State players have transferred out so far: running back Silas Redd to Southern California and safety Tim Buckley to North Carolina State. A report Tuesday night said tight end Kevin Haplea is also leaving, but has not specified a school.
CBS: LSU No. 1
CBSSports.com released its preseason Top 25 rankings Tuesday, with LSU perched at the top.
USC was at No. 2, followed by Alabama, Oklahoma and Oregon.
CBSsports.com analyst Jerry Palm concurs with the rankings, projecting LSU and USC to meet in the BCS national championship game, Jan. 7 in Miami.