Penn State Quarterback Competition: Coach Bill O'Brien Wants A Two-Man Race By Summer

STATE COLLEGE PA - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Matt McGloin #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions stands on the field during a time out during a game against the Michigan State Spartans on November 27 2010 at Beaver Stadium in State College Pennsylvania. The Spartans won 28-22. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

ESPN's Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg came to town yesterday, and while he wasn't able to put a dent in the Todd Blackledge grilled sticky monopoly, he made his way to the practice fields to shoot a bit of video and talk to Coach Bill O'Brien about what spring has shown him so far.

Maybe the most interesting comments O'Brien made pertained to the battle going on at quarterback where Matt McGloin, Rob Bolden and Paul Jones all have been taking first-team snaps through spring practice. While it seems none of the three have separated from the pack yet, BOB wants trim some of the fat off the battle soon:

O'Brien doesn't expect to name a starter before the end of the spring -- he'd like to make a decision 2-3 weeks before the season opener -- but he will reduce the pool from three to two in the next two weeks. "One guy will have a decent day and the next day, a different guy will have a better day," O'Brien said. "But we give them a lot of reps, so they all have their chances."

O'Brien also gave a brief synopsis on how each of the three have played and interacted with him and the team so far this spring:

McGloin: "He's a bright guy who understands our offense right now. He's doing a decent job of operating the huddle and things like this."

Bolden: "He's another bright guy who is doing a good job of understanding the offense. He's a guy that has a great many tools."

Jones: "He's picking it up and shows flashes of being a really good quarterback. When guys ask good questions, which Paul does, Paul asks a lot of good questions, you understand that they are getting it, to a certain degree. They all have good questions." "It's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out," O'Brien added.

Two thoughts come across when hearing BOB's comments:

1. Two quarterbacks really have stood out or one has just bombed in the first six days of practice and O'Brien is just Paterno-ing us with his comments. Considering the history of these quarterbacks, though, this outcome is highly unlikely.

2. O'Brien isn't extremely happy with anything he has seen so far and is clearing space for the summer when Steven Bench can begin practicing. As previously stated, the history of these quarterbacks isn't particularly great. Why wouldn't O'Brien just want to start anew with a quarterback he can mold into whatever he wants?

Is there a third option? Probably, along with a fourth, fifth and sixth as well. One thing is for certain, though: For the third straight summer, quarterback speculation will run rampant and September won't come soon enough. Want to see the quarterbacks in action? Here's some video from Rittenberg:

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