When Bill O’Brien was hired as the next head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, many expected his offensive expertise to transition well to the college game. Following his work with the New England Patriots and Tom Brady, O’Brien was considered a great offensive mind already, but his work at Penn State is building his reputation up as a quarterback guru. Will he cement that reputation in 2013?
In his first season at the helm, O’Brien turned a former walk-on in Matt McGloin into the top passer in the Big Ten in 2012. He seemingly took McGloin’s level of play way above what was expected out of him. In 2013, O’Brien will get to work with some highly touted quarterbacks, whether it is junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson or No. 1 quarterback recruit Christian Hackenberg, and expectations will be through the roof.
If he was able to turn an unheralded signal caller into one of the conference’s elite, he should be able to do some amazing things with prospects with the tools of Ferguson and Hackenberg. Depending on how quickly they develop and how successful they become at Penn State, O’Brien could become a card-carrying quarterback guru in the football community.
That reputation will help the Nittany Lions continue to recruit some of the top quarterback prospects with an eye on taking their game to the next level. Already, Penn State is in the running for the No. 3 pocket passer in the 2014 recruiting class with Michael O’Connor and will continue to put them in the running for the top signal callers for years to come.