Can you imagine how awesome life has been for Rob Bolden the past five days?
An outstanding college debut. His picture plastered on ESPN's website. Being big man on campus all week. Getting pats on the back and double-takes from everyone he sees.
To top it off, he's featured in this week's Sports Illustrated.
What any of us would give to be 18 and on top of the world, which is where Bolden has taken up residence since Saturday.
The young man has to be loving all this attention, which may be as good as it ever gets for him.
Starting Saturday -- when he's likely to struggle big time at No. 1 Alabama -- the universal praise bestowed upon Bolden so far will be a thing of the past.
How he handles those aspects of being a starting quarterback will play a big part in defining the freshman's season, and potentially his career.
"He's just a good guy, and I really like that he has a good head on his shoulders," receiver Brett Brackett said. "His parents obviously taught him the right way to carry himself as a leader, as a player, and I don't think he'll have a problem handling that kind of attention at all."
The media doesn't get to talk to Penn State's freshmen, so we have little idea who Bolden is, how mature he is or what he thinks about being in this glaring spotlight.
His teammates and Joe Paterno have only known him for four months, and while they have said all the right things this week, deep down they have to be wondering themselves how he will respond if he has a terrible game in Tuscaloosa.
"You used the word grounded," guard Stefen Wisniewski said when asked if that fits, "and I would definitely use that word to describe Bolden. He's very cool and calm and very grounded."
One of the reasons Paterno settled on Bolden in the three-man quarterback competition is how well he's handled everything that's been thrown his way in a short time.
"When we decided to have him start the first game ... we had to have some strong reasons for his personality, his character, his poise," JoePa said.
The coach knows Bolden is "going to get knocked around" this week and understands "it's not going to be easy for him." But for reasons only he knows -- and they go against 45 years of tradition -- Paterno has faith that this true freshman can handle it.
"I don't think he's going to lose his poise," JoePa said. "Do I think he's going to have the kind of success he had [last week]? No. Alabama's too good for that. Hopefully he comes out of that ballgame feeling that he's learned something."
Meanwhile, we all will learn a lot about Bolden by how he handles what likely will be a great deal of adversity.
Cory Giger is the host of "Sports Central" from 4 to 6 p.m. daily on ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM. He can be reached at 949-7031 or email@example.com.