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Will Kevin Newsome Play?

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In the 2007 Alamo Bowl, Penn State unveiled the wildcat formation where they brought in Daryll Clark and spread Anthony Morelli out wide. Texas A&M was completely confused and had no answer for it as Clark rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown on six carries. It served as a springboard into the 2008 season where Clark would take the torch from Morelli and become the team leader. So this year there has been some speculation that maybe backup quarterback Kevin Newsome could see some action against the LSU Tigers in the Capital One Bowl.

But according to Paterno, don't get your hopes up.

Q. Last year you said you had wished (Daryll) Clark could have gotten more time in 2007. Do you want to try and get some work for Kevin Newsome in this game?

That's a difference situation. Clark had been here three years. It was his third year here. This is Newsome's first year. He's a true freshman even though he came in January.

And again, I'm repeating myself, because when you guys ask questions, you ask it a thousand times. I've always said, I'd rather play a guy, all right, two weeks later than one week early, all right? Put him in, he's not ready, he doesn't play with some confidence or have some success, particularly at quarterback, you've got a confidence problem.

When I was talking about Clark playing a couple of years ago, Clark had been around and I had seen him grow and I thought he was ready to play some. I didn't think he was ready to play; Jay thought he was ready to play, and for this very reason: I just didn't want to stick him in there too soon.

And I think that was my mistake with Clark; whether it's my mistake with Newsome, I don't think so. They are two different tales. There's a tale of a kid that's really, you know, been around us long enough to know what's going to happen, and another kid that's really just learning.

In a sense, I can see Paterno's point. This is the last game for the seniors, and Paterno owes it to them to try to win the game. To do that you put your best players on the field. But at the same time, I can't help but think that next year quarterback play is going to cost us a few wins because Kevin Newsome only saw 11 passing attempts all season. Getting in a series or two against LSU could be tremendous for his development. I know Paterno is concerned about shaking his confidence, but as some point these boys have to become men and face a failure or two. To coddle them from making mistakes does them a disservice in my humble opinion.

What do you think?