September 26, 2010

Brackett bolsters Bolden's confidence

It isn't always happy trails for a true freshman quarterback starting in a major college football program, but having a go-to receiver like Brett Brackett, who also plays the role of big brother, makes things a little bit easier.

Brackett, who is also a team captain, has developed into Robert Bolden's favorite target, tying a team-high 15 catches this season and leading the squad against Temple with five. Brackett played quarterback in high school and said he knows how his leadership can help the youngster.

"Personally with Rob, I think me and Rob have a great relationship. I help him. I am an older guy and he is a new guy. I just have been trying to give him anything I can to help him improve and help him get better. I think we have a real good relationship," Brackett said after Penn State's 22-13 nail-biting 'W' against Temple Saturday.

Brackett, who leads the team with 2 touchdown receptions in 2010, is used to hauling in Bolden's darts week after week, but said his best attribute is not just his rocket arm.

"You know, one thing is that he is a smart quarterback. He is relaxed. He has a great arm," said the captain.

Perhaps Bolden's best drive of the season came Saturday against Temple, when he he lead Penn State's offense to a 96-yard touchdown drive and lofted a gorgeous 27-yard pass to sophomore Justin Brown. That drive showed the smarts, collectiveness and arm-strength that Bracket eluded to.

"The second drive that went 96 (yards) was huge. You know, it was a real big momentum thing for us," said Brackett. "For us to go 96 yards shows our grit and toughness. Our offensive line and everybody, you know, we got to commend ourselves on that."

Head coach Joe Paterno also commented, saying the drive was helpful for Bolden's confidence, and with some slight humor, Paterno may have said just the right thing to prepare the young freshman.

"I said as we were warming up, 'Just forget that you are only 12 years old. Go out and have some fun (laughter). Everyone is trying to treat you like a baby.' I told him to keep playing because he is going to be very good," said Paterno.

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