The Eastern Michigan Eagles football program is undergoing a massive change under first-year head coach Chris Creighton. An all new system, new gray turf, and now a new quarterback are all apart of the process. Friday evening Eastern Michigan announced the addition of Rob Bolden, a former wide receiver at LSU and before that a former starting quarterback at Penn State.
"We are excited about Rob joining our football family," Creighton said in an official release Friday evening.
Earlier this week news broke that after two seasons (one as a redshirt, after transferring from Penn State) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the former quarterback, who had recently switched to a wide receiver in the LSU Tigers' system, was pursuing a transfer. The initial rumor mill had it narrowed down to a MAC school, with EMU as a favorite.
"We knew he was very talented but we wanted to get to know who he was as a person and potential teammate. It didn't take long to figure out that he is our kind of guy. We are glad he is now an Eagle and that he will finish his career back in Southeast Michigan."
The Orchard Lake, Michigan native decided a move back home for his final season was a better move than switching to a new position at LSU.
"I am happy to be home with a new start and look to make my final year special," Bolden said in the release. "...The support of my family has been tremendous throughout the entire process and I thank them all for that. I look forward to seeing all the fan support for our team at 'The Factory' in August," he added.
Bolden, who will be eligible immediately, has one season of eligibility remaining. The dual-threat right-hander looks to be a factor for the starting job, over incumbent starter Brogan Roback, or at the very least, will play a significant role in the system.
Prior to transferring to LSU, Bolden was a two-year starter at Penn State. From 2010 to 2011 Bolden threw for 2,045 yards and seven scores in 15 starts, making a total of 20 appearances. In the midst of the impending sanctions at Penn State, Bolden transferred to LSU. After sitting out all of 2012 due to NCAA regulations, he didn't play a single down for the Tigers in 2013.
But still, adding the former 4-star quarterback to EMU's roster is a huge get for the Eagles. Once considered the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2010, Bolden has the skills to make an impact in Ypsilanti. Fellow former 4-star prospect Roback, who down the stretch of the 2013 season for EMU as a true freshman, has shown he still needs to develop some more. He completed just 42 percent of his passes in 2013, throwing five interceptions to four touchdowns. Bolden brings some threat on the ground that Roback doesn't possess.
It's not a lock that Bolden will take Roback's job, but one has to believe that Bolden wouldn't have transferred to EMU, or anywhere for that matter, without some sort of guarantee in place for playing time. In a conference that is facing such turnover at the quarterback position, Bolden has the potential to be among the best MAC quarterbacks in 2013. If nothing else, his competition should aid in the development of Roback.
Either way, EMU's offense just got a whole lot more interesting.