Senior Matthew McGloin will be Penn State's starting quarterback when the 2012 season kicks off, coach Bill O'Brien announced Friday.
McGloin, who has started just 10 games the past two seasons but has taken the majority of snaps, will enter the fall atop the depth chart. Sophomore Paul Jones, who has been academically ineligible for the past two seasons, will enter the fall as McGloin's backup.
O'Brien cited McGloin's consistency during spring practice as a key factor in the decision.
"He was our most consistent guy throughout the spring," O'Brien said. "He has a good command of the offense at this point. And he's a tough kid, a competitive kid. He has shown good leadership qualities.
"And I just felt like he's the No. 1 quarterback."
McGloin, Jones and Rob Bolden, who has started the past two season openers at quarterback for the Nittany Lions, competed for the job throughout the spring. Bolden is the team's No. 3 quarterback, O'Brien said.
"Going into training camp, you have to make sure that one guy is getting the bulk of the reps," the coach said. "You don't have time to give three guys equal reps. So, that's No. 1. And in the summertime, when the coaches aren't around, you have to have leaders on both sides of the ball, and Matt -- obviously, being a quarterback -- is a leader on the offensive side of the ball.
"You have to have a starter. And then, you go from there."
McGloin, a former walk-on, completed 54.1 percent of his passes for 1,571 yards with eight touchdowns and six interceptions last season. He has 3,119 career passing yards with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
"It's definitely beneficial for me," McGloin told Penn State's official website. "All of my focus over the next three months can be on the playbook, working on my mechanics, strength and conditioning and throwing with the guys. It feels great, but I also understand that I need to work harder than ever in getting ready for the season."
O'Brien also confirmed Friday that cornerback Curtis Drake is no longer with the team and will not return. Drake and McGloin were involved in a locker-room scuffle in December that left McGloin with a concussion and unable to play in the TicketCity Bowl against Houston. Drake moved from wide receiver to cornerback this spring. No reason was given for his departure.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.