Penn State preparing to land a star high school quarterback?

Penn State appears to be the favorite to land a top quarterback Saturday for its 2014 recruiting class. 
Head coach Bill O’Brien appears to be in the driver’s seat for pro-style QB Michael O’Connor, a 6-foot-5 and 205-pound junior studying at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. 

Quarterback guru Bill O'Brien appears ready to welcome star QB Michael O'Connor into the fold.

Quarterback guru Bill O’Brien appears ready to welcome star QB Michael O’Connor into the fold.

O’Connor is listed as a three-star prospect and top 30 quarterback nationally by He is originally from Canada but attended school briefly in Tennessee before landing at the prestigious IMG. 
He has scholarship offers from Michigan State, Iowa and Mississippi State but expects to pick between Penn State and Vanderbilt. 
He would be Penn State’s 11th commitment in a class that can accept no more than 15 because of NCAA sanctions. 
The key for the Nittany Lions is that they will operate with only two scholarship quarterbacks through the 2013 season — California junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson and true freshman Christian Hackenberg. 
Landing O’Connor, “gets you that extra level of security, but it’s more than that, too,” said Greg Pickel, a recruiting analyst with “He also gives you a guy with a pretty good chance of winning the job. He will provide competition right away.
Though coaches from Notre Dame and Alabama traveled to Bradenton recently to watch him practice, O’Connor doesn’t have more big offers, Pickel believes, because he still emerged on the recruiting scene late with those big moves. 
He features good arm strength and exceptional fundamentals, including a “perfect” release point on his throws. He is being coached by former Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke. 
Since arriving at IMG this past winter, “mechanically he’s so much better,” Weinke told “He has better timing, better rhythm and better feet. Michael has a much better feel for ball speed and ball trajectory. And he’s one of those guys that just picks up everything so fast and so quickly. We run an NFL-styled offense and he gets it. You should hear some of the questions that he’s always firing my way. He just gets it.” 
And in a bit of interesting timing, the Nittany Lions received a verbal commitment last weekend from Scranton’s Noah Beh, who they project to grow into an offensive tackle — a future protector for O’Connor. 
Beh is 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds but appears to have the frame to add another 40 pounds or more. If he cannot add the weight and stick at tackle, Penn State coaches have assured him that he would have a place at defensive end, Pickel said. 
He picked Penn State over Boston College. 

This entry was posted in Bill O'Brien, Christian Hackenberg, Football, NCAA, Penn State, Recruiting, Tyler Ferguson and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Penn State preparing to land a star high school quarterback?

  1. I wonder why Penn State has shown no interest in ex-Oklahoma State QB, Wes
    Lunt. He was a 4 star quarterback when he was recruited. He was then thrown
    into a starting role due to injuries and did well until he was injured. His
    replacement did reasonably well and a not-fully-healed Lunt was subsequently
    beaten out in spring practice. He left Oklahoma State and, I believe, is still
    looking for a new school.
    PSU Ph.D. 72

    • Frank Bodani says:

      Hi Robert… Interesting mention about QB Wes Lunt. Not sure if there was ever any interest from the Penn State side of things. I know that Bill O’Brien and Charlie Fisher are excited about having JC Tyler Ferguson and incoming stud Christian Hackenberg. Plus, elite prospect Michael O’Connor will be joining them next year. I think Lunt would have had to have been the guy rather than Ferguson last December-January. Maybe the timing was just not right

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