O’Brien can sell recruits on chance to play right now
As Penn State prepares to start spring practice the week after next, the team is facing the difficulty of operating with only 65 scholarships for the next four years, instead of the usual 85. A problem to be sure, but not an insurmountable one.
Bill O’Brien has shown he can get the most out of a player’s ability. Exhibit One would be Matt McGloin, who started his career at Penn State as a walk-on, something O’Brien now calls a run-on. But, point is, he came to Penn State because he wanted to. No other big time program wanted him, and even Penn State said you’ll have to earn you way on to a scholarship.
He did, but never flourished until O’Brien arrived.
So, O’Brien will have to target his smaller number of blue chippers with the sales pitch that, due to the smaller numbers, they will have a greater chance to play sooner, even right away. Something today’s kids want to hear.
Also, he can still sell that Beaver Stadium experience. And, his ability to get guys ready for the NFL.
He’ll also have to find the Matt McGloins of the world, guys who were raised believing in all things Blue and White, and who still do. Maybe they weren’t quite good enough to be on many FBS radars, but there is a desire there and enough talent to work with.
It’s a challenge to be sure. But if there is anyone who has shown he is up to meeting a challenge, it’s Bill O’Brien.