"There's no timeline," Bolden responded when asked whether Saturday's rain-shortened, 10-0 victory by the Blue team had marked his final appearance in a Penn State uniform. "However long it takes for me and my family to make a decision, that's going to be it. I don't know myself."
The level of Bolden's dissatisfaction has been more closely monitored than any Nielsen rating since the conclusion of the Outback Bowl, when his father, Robert Bolden Sr., angrily announced that his son, who started the first seven games of the 2010 season as a true freshman, would be transferring out of the program. The younger Bolden, who lost his place in the starting lineup not because of poor play but because of injury (a concussion against Minnesota), watched from the sideline on Jan. 1 as his replacement, Matt McGloin, threw five interceptions in a 37-24 loss to Florida.
Penn State coach Joe Paterno ratcheted up speculation when he refused to grant Bolden an immediate release from his grant-in-aid, his rationale being that the Boldens needed time to think things through, lest they make a perhaps hasty and unwise choice.
Which brings us to Saturday's drenched, cold and windy conclusion to spring football practice, which drew a crowd estimated at 7,000 into mammoth Beaver Stadium, where, in 2009, the turnout for the Blue-White game was 76,500. The bright, sunny Friday that preceded the deluge was an apparition; persistent rain restricted Penn State from working outdoors for any of the allowable 15 practices, all of which were conducted under the roof of Holuba Hall.
When the mist went from drizzle to downpour with 10 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Paterno ordered everybody to leave the field before anyone else got hurt (19 players did not participate), or possibly drowned.
If what transpired on Saturday was a major factor as to who deserves to get the starting nod for the Sept. 3 season opener against Indiana State, McGloin, a redshirt junior, seemingly emerged as the frontrunner. He completed five of 10 passes for 109 yards and the game's only touchdown, a 17-yard strike to wide receiver Brandon Moseby-Felder. Bolden, on the other hand, did not have a completion in his five pass attempts, with an interception.
Asked to assess his performance, McGloin said, "All I can do is the best I can and show the coaches, 'This is my job, I want it.' "
So does Bolden, should he stay, and what the Paternos - Joe and his quarterbacks-coach son, Jay - are saying is that designation as the top guy is still very much a two-man race.
"I've been pleased with the quarterbacks," JoePa said. "Both those kids had really good springs, I thought. I think the quarterback situation is a good one.
"There's no need to [name a starter now]. There's no sense in doing it. I would say it's 99 percent certain it's going to be one of those two kids."
That seemingly doesn't bode well for the trailing candidates in the QB derby, redshirt freshman Paul Jones and junior Kevin Newsome, who might have their own dissatisfaction issues now that they realize their immediate future probably consists of holding a clipboard on Saturday game days.
So, does JoePa expect Bolden to remain and continue competing with McGloin?
"He's been great out there on the practice field," Paterno said. "He appears to be having a good time. As far as I can see, he's a lot different than he was last year when he was a little bit . . . I don't know exactly what the term I would use. But he wasn't as comfortable as he was this spring.
"I don't think there is a problem. Shouldn't be. He's right in there."
Added JayPa: "In the next couple of days - maybe a week, maybe 10 days [the spring semester ends April 29] - I'll get a chance to talk with Rob and his family. We'll go from there. But I expect him back, yeah. After the spring he's had, I would hope so."
Bolden, who was a favorite target of autograph-seekers, all of whom urged him to stay the course, said he has been a relatively contented camper and he has no issues with McGloin.
"Me and Matt are cool," he said. "I'm here, I'm having fun. Nothing against anybody else. I wish that I could stay. I possibly could stay, but I don't know."
One thing is for certain: the elder Paterno eventually is going to have to select a starter. He is not big on a dual-quarterback system, and he went off at the suggestion that such might be in the offing.
"That's the press' game. Politics. That's not my game," he harrumphed. "We'll play the guy that we think is best."
Defensive tackle Jordan Hill won the Jim O'Hora Award (most improved defensive player), wide receiver Devon Smith the Red Worrell Award (most improved offensive player) and tackle Mike Farrell and center Ty Howle shared the Frank Patrick Total Commitment Award . . . Defensive end Kyle Baublitz registered two sacks for minus-17 yards in the game.