College Football Recruiting: Penn State Nittany Lions Pull Ahead for Top QB Prospect

By Tyler Brett
Evan Habeeb – USA TODAY Sports

While the Penn State Nittany Lions are stuck under a heavy NCAA-imposed sanction, that has yet to stop head coach Bill O’Brien from recruiting some of the nation’s top talent. Last season, Penn State secured the commitment of the No. 1 rated pocket passer in the 2013 class in Christian Hackenberg and could have the inside track for the No. 3 rated pocket passer in the 2014 class in Michael O’Connor. Will O’Brien work his magic on another elite signal caller?

The four-star Florida native has caught the attention of programs all over the country with his size (6-foot-5, 223-pounds) and his ability to throw the football with strength and accuracy. He also has the athleticism to create plays when things break down or even to run a little zone-read action if the offense calls for it. Scouts have raved about O’Connor’s upside as he has one of the highest ceilings for developing his game of anyone in the 2014 class.

O’Connor feels like he has a pretty good idea about what he wants to do about his recruitment and plans to wrap up the process in the next few weeks. Penn State sits in very good position as they run the same offensive schemes that he has run during his high school career. PSU also got a boost when Steven Bench announced he would transfer; a move that O’Connor called “intriguing” since it would thin out the competition for him to get playing time.

The Nittany Lions will have to hold off other programs making a late push for the quarterback’s services and O’Connor hasn’t indicated definitively which program he’s leaning towards. But up to now, Penn State has been the school recruiting him the hardest and the one that seems to be the most intriguing for the young signal caller. Will that change in the next few weeks leading up to his decision?

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