Bill O’Brien has reeled in yet another top quarterback prospect, with the commitment of Michael O’Connor from Florida for the class of 2014.
O’Connor plays for former Florida State Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke, so is already in what is described as a pro-style offense. The 6-5, 223-pound senior will hone those skills for another year in high school before joining freshman Christian Hackenberg and junior college transfer and sophomore Tyler Ferguson for the 2014 season.
That top QBs want to play for O’Brien should surprise no one. The coach came to Penn State fresh off tutoring Tom Brady in New England, and while you could argue the most any coach needed to do there was not screw it up, O’Brien did a lot more than that for Brady and the Pats offense, if you ask me.
But what should really draw high school kids who want a shot at playing quarterback in the NFL is what O’Brien did with Penn State’s offense in general last year, and with QB Matt McGloin in particular.
This was basically the same unit that plodded through the 2011 season with McGloin and Rob Bolden still dueling it out for time under center. In fact, the Lions top receiver and runner from 2011 transferred after the NCAA sanctions, so the offense really started two big paces behind in 2012.
But after just eight months under O’Brien, McGloin looked like Peyton Manning out there, coming to the line, surveying the defense, calling audibles, moving people around, making throws, and leading the Big Ten in passing. Now, reports say McGloin has a legitimate shot at making the Oakland Raiders.
Even if McGloin doesn’t end up playing on Sundays, the fact he had an honest chance after his first four years at Penn State can’t be lost on recruits. If the Lions, either through lawsuit or negotiation, can get out from under the sanction imposed scholarship limits a year or two early, allowing O’Brien to beef up the line, backfield, and defensive recruiting, with any of the three QBs who will be in camp next year running that NASCAR offense, watch out!Read More