Penn State just landed a commitment from Michael O'Conner, a 4 star QB from Canada by way of Florida. This, a year after they landed 5 star Christian Hackenberg. I continue to be very impressed by Bill O'brien as a recruiter. These kids continue to sign up to play for him despite the sanctions. And these aren't just kids who don't have better options The jury is still out on his coaching, but it seems that if Penn State can hold onto him until the sanctions end, they could have a good coach. I, for one, are hoping they do. A strong Penn State is good for the Big Ten. Especially considering Michigan's historic dominance against them.
Penn State lands 4* QB Michael O'Conner
Good work by coach O'Brien. Gotta respect the work he's putting in under those restrictions.
...but Tom Brady saved Penn State. I'm not implying anything other than O'Brien's work with Brady and the Pat's offense has attracted top QBs wanting to get to the NFL.
I think these top QBs are going to attract at least decent talent to PSU. I'm not saying PSU isn't going to feel the hurt, they will...but I think they'll be no worse than a .500 team and they'll be "back" sooner than most would've originally thought.
I thought Penn State should have received stiffer penalties even the death penalty. I also think they should be booted from the Big Ten, and I will continue to hope it happens.
I think the penalties were supposed to worse than the death penalty. And I think they were.
I took that as bluster on the part of the NCAA. I can't see how it's anywhere close. Maybe in year four these sanctions could be worse, but I think depth, especially experienced depth would be far, far worse in years two and three. That's without considering the death penalty year.
Because their roster will be decimated for the better part of the decade, and when the sacntions are finally over its going to be 2020 before the roster is full, and even then, they will still be young. Just like with USC, the sanctions will eventually catch up to them. Granted they have a seemingly competent coach unlike Kiffen, but with 15 recruits per cycle and 65 scholarship players, you almost can't have any recruiting misses, and any kids getting homesick or injured may cripple the team for the year. And this will go on until past 2018. The death penalty would cancel last year's season and then things would go back to normal. I think this dooms PSU to mediocrity for the rest of the decade.
would certainly beg to differ vis-a-vis "things would go back to normal" after the death penalty year.
The idea that PSU's sanctions were worse, as bad as, or even within an order of magnitude as severe as the death penalty is just... wow. Mind-boggling.
Which beings up a good point. Which school more grossly concealed facts in order to cover for their football team? The number of PSU apologists these days blows my mind. The fact that this story is old news does not make them any easier to root for. That whole town could burn down, for all I care...
What does their roster look like the year after a death penalty? I wouldn't expect many players to sit around. With a class limit of 25 they would be playing mostly walkons. It would take 4-5 years to restock the roster and get back to normal.
It may not be worse, but don't think that Penn State is getting off light with their sanctions just because O'Brien has managed to convince a couple of blue-chip recruits to come and play through the storm. The depth issues created by the scholarship limits will hurt and hurt for a long time. Consider that Hoke is still trying to patch holes up in our two deep left from Rich Rod attrition and recruiting misses from 2008 (not to mention the train wreck that is 2010), and he probably won't really have the ship completely righted until next year or the season after at the latest.
I don't care how good a coach you are, you can't fix these type of personnel problems in a season or two. Add to that the fact that Penn State is going to get less attractive to recruits when O'Brien starts going 6-6, 4-8; the problem will just exacerbate itself.
How could they be worse than the death penalty? What could be worse than not even having a team to field?
I love the smell of binary thinking in the morning.
your second to the last sentence. A strong Penn State is good for the Big Ten......
This is even more impressive as this kid is from Florida. BOB my be a force in crute'in in the future, esp. since the NCAA will likely reduce the sanctions after this year (sanctions can be reduced by PSU showing improvements in administration and oversight).
I'm pretty sure he is from Canada and just moved to Florida to attend that prep school and reclassify to '14. He was supposed to be a '15 recruit.
O'Brien is great but what are the odds he is around to coach this kid?
I'm going with zero.
The topic of the Big Ten's subpar recruiting has been a particular point of interest on this blog lately, and here is a coach, under the strictest sanctions any one has had in a long time, out recruiting everyone not name Hoke or Meyer. I don't know if it says more about Bill O'Brien as a recruiter, or more about the rest of the big ten.
I'm not sure if we'll ever figure out why schools like Wisconsin and Michigan State can't recruit better despite years of unprecedented success.
As much as I hate Penn State for how vigorously so many of their fans defended the actions of Joe Paterno, I also feel so desperate for someone in the Big Ten to actually be good that maybe I can set that aside and root for then to get back on their feet.
Crap does that make me as bad as them?
Wow. The guy knows what he is doing. Who would have thought that Indiana, N'W and PSU would be the only ones stepping up their recruiting outside of UM & OSU?
He had a sparty offer but chose to commit to a school knowing he will not play in a bowl game for his first two years instead. Ha!
Yet another mention of Michigan State in a thread that has nothing to do with them.
Who the fuck cares about Michigan State? Their perils aren't even worth talking about.
You do know one of the points of being rivals is trash talk right? Thats what rivals do, they talk about eachother.
But we're totally not rivals despite the whole in-state rivalry and everything else that looks like a rivalry but isn't.
Ummm do you have a reading comprehension problem? The thread is about PSU and bob's ability to land quality recruit despite the sanctions.
Where was and/or why would MSU even being mentioned make any sense at all? Every damn thread some boob mentions MSU haphazardly without even staying on topic. Geez!
Didn't MSU get Durka Durka?
Not that I understand why they would turn down a highly touted 4 star, but then again, I don't understand many of the things they do.
I'm pretty sure Michigan State already landed a high 3 star/low 4 star QB for this class, so maybe that's the reason he didn't end up at State. That, or O'Brien is just working his "I coached Tom Brady" magic.
Ah, just looked him up and I guess it's "Durkin". Whoops. Would hate to imagine that turns into a joke for awhile... :)
because they seem to recruit as well or better than Penn State did in the last few Paterno years. They should definitely be better than awful, but I'm still thinking they're not going to have enough bodies to field a real 2-deep at anything
As much as I hate Penn St., I'm with the rest of you who have made positive comments in regards to the recruiting success he's having. A strong B1G is a good thing, although at least a half-dozen of the coaching staffs around the conference don't seem to realize it.
As a football fan, if I were a season-ticket holder or alumni right now anywhere other than Michigan or any of the schools that "get it" (Ohio, PSU, NU, UNL, and maybe IU, MSU, and/or Wisconsin), I'd seriously be questioning whether my AD and Head Coach have the level of commitment needed to keep their jobs.
BOB is obviously a good salesman, but having coached Tom Brady has to help a lot, especially in recruiting QBs and on offense in general. I'm sure he's telling the recruits he's using a pro-style offense, one that will give them a leg up when they move on to the NFL. He can also stroke recruits egos by comparing them to some of the players he's coached in the NFL: "hey kid, you know the last player I coached who had an arm and football savy like you is a guy you may have heard of, Tom Brady. Come play for me, and I can make you the next Tom Brady."
So...exactly like Greg Mattison except on the other side of the ball.
On the NFL experience, yes, they have very similar appeals they can use. Penn State has a recruiting video on youtube that I think is a great idea too. If you look at the part from about 1:40 to 2:00 he definitely plays up his Patriots experience and connection to Tom Brady, without ever mentioning names; it's all visual.
I was going to say charlie weis...
get why anyone would choose Penn State right now.
I kind of agreed at first. But when you look at O'Connor's scholarship offer list it's not surprising.
Akron, Buffalo, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Penn State, Rutgers, South Florida, Southern Miss, Toledo, Vanderbilt.
Of those, which is the best offer besides Penn State?
Rutgers... maybe? I guess Mississippi State, Mizzou, and Vandy get some kind of nod because they're all SEC, but they're lower SEC schools. Two years ago choosing Penn State in this scenario would have been a no brainer.
Penn State obviously doesn't offer the chance to go to a bowl (for 3 years), but clearly O'Brien is selling the chance to play on television or go to the NFL, both of which Penn State players can still do.
So yeah, I'm kind of surprised in general, but it's not like O'Connor has half the schools Hackenberg did and is turning them down.
And Rutgers already has a QB recruit, so it's not clear that his offer there would have been commitable. Same for Michigan State and Vanderbilt, which leaves Missouri, Mississippi State, and USF as his only BCS offers without a QB in the class. I'm surprised he didn't choose Missouri or Miss State, but, as you say, it's not completely shocking he went with Penn State.
On the other hand, if more offers come in from BCS schools, I wouldn't be surprised if he decommits before NSD.
Wasn't O'Conner the other kid in the Michigan '14 QB sweepstakes with Speight and Cornwell?
Yes, he was one of the final three.
As much as PSU deserves what they got, you have to sort of have to feel for their fans. (When I went to a game at PSU, pre-scandal, the Penn State fans were some of the nicest I've been around.) You also have to root for O'Brien with his special needs son and coaching in the situation he is in. I think the B1G needs a strong Penn State.
I've never been to happy valley but I've always heard the exact opposite of their fans from those who have
I've been there when Michigan blew them out, and when PSU blew Michigan out. With a few exceptions, the PSU fans I saw were gracious in victory and defeat.
I've always heard Penn State is one of the worst schools to go to for an away game. I've heard of broken windshields and vandalized cars and general bro a-holes. Just had some OSU fans tell me this weekend they had the same experience when they went out there
Yep, same. Anecdotally have heard of one guy getting beer thrown on him and another getting pelted in the head by a full beer can.
Yeah, the beer can video of OSU fans getting pelted was posted on youtube a few years back. Link
To say Penn State fans (some not all) are nice would be an understatment.
I'm sure it was an isolated incident, but I don't think PSU fans are the best.
"It wasn't an isolated incident. " -- Mercury Hayes
With this commitment, it puts Penn State at a solid third in the conference in terms of ranking for the 2014 recruiting cycle. Even more impressive for O'Brien really is that, under the conditions imposed, it is an improvement over 2013 (6th in the conference) as well as the class he more or less walked into (2012 was the 7th highest ranked class in the Big Ten). As others have mentioned, a strong program in Happy Valley is an asset to the Big Ten, and it is nice to see O'Brien working well so far there.
But with Hackenberg, QB was the last position where they needed a 4 star this class. Get some linemen or GTFO.
It really isn't going to matter the level of talent they bring in. USC has MUCH better talent, and they still got decimated because of depth issues. And their scholarship reductions are child's play compared to what Penn State got.
Any real program would want to bring in a talented QB every year, but PSU has even more reason to want to do so. They've been wobbly at QB for what seems forever now, with Mat McGloin, a walk on, being their best option (an gone). Not only is the QB situation totally unsettled now, but they're thin there as well. If Hackenberg goes bust (always a possibility) or gets injured, they're in a world of hurt. Which is not to say that I disagree with you about the lack of line recruiting. Then again, the Pats have been neglecting their OLine for a while, and Brady has been paying the price for that, do maybe O'Brien has a little of the spread nd shred fever, where you think of offense in terms of skill position players and not the guys up front.
I'm not saying it isn't good for them to get this kid, just that's its probably their position of least need, other than probably WR. Getting a 4 star OT or DT would do them a lot better and they're running out of spots.
yeah, they have 1 o-linemen and 0 d-linemen and their class is almost full given the sanction limits. They're going to be in deep trouble unless they hit on some walkons.
That will be a big concern for them down the road, but they've been taking a steady stream of Olinemen the last few years. 5 pretty good ones in 2010, 4 more in 2011, 3 in 2012, and 3 in 2013. They need more than 1 in this class, obviously, but they have 4 spots left. I'm guessing necessity might drive Penn State to become a destination for transfers to offset the wrath of the injury Gods.
Yeah, they brought in 9 in 2010-2011, but only three of them were 4 stars and even they were barely so. I also don't know if any of those guys decided not to stick around when the sanctions were announced. According to Rivals, they only took 2 in 2012 (both 3-stars) though one of the three DTs (a 3-star and two 2-stars) could be an OL. And yes, three in 2013 (only one 4-star). So they have little in quantity and talent. And once that 5 member 2010 class graduates, they'll be in deep shit.
But look at the DL recruiting, it's just as bad:
2010 - 3 DL, 2 4-stars, only one DT
2011 - 4 DL, 3 4-stars, but all DEs
2012 - 4 DL, 1 3-star and 3 2-stars. 3 DTs, but it sounds like one might be an OL.
2013 - 3 DL, 1 4-star, 2 3-stars, all DEs again
2014 - 1 DL, 3-star DE.
This is just as bad because these guys need to rotate a lot more than the OL guys do. Over that entire span, they signed zero (0) 4-star or above DTs. Since 2012, they have signed a total of one 4-star DL. That's not good.
So far in the 2013 and 2014 classes, Penn State has brought in two offensive guards, one OT, and then Noah Beh who is listed as an OT on Scout and as a DE other places. They have a few spots left in the 2014 class, but realistically Penn State is looking at filling out its offensive line with walk-ons.
OTOH, Penn State has recruited a 5-star QB for 2013 and now a 4-star for 2014, plus a ton of backs and receivers--many of whom are 4-star rated. I am wondering if O'Brien's plan is basically to put Hackenberg in the shotgun and just throw the ball 65 times per game? If so, this could be a very wise strategy. It's probably a lot less difficult to find walk-on linemen if all they need to do is pass-protect. And while I'm sure O'Brien would prefer to have a running game, if he needs to give something up it might as well be the thing he can't have anyway.
So basically they'll be Texas Tech. TTU always lost to the big boys, except when they had Crabtree, and even they had a very good OL most years.
Yeah, I think Texas Tech makes a good comparison. I was kind of thinking about the old Houston teams with Ware & Klingler, myself.
If you are O'Brien, you probably figure you're not competing with Michigan and Ohio State right now anyway. So if you have a team that can handle the lesser powers in the conference, you can still go about 6-2 or 5-3 in the B1G and win 8-9 games. (For whatever that's worth).
At some point they're going to be down to 65 scholarships. That is going to kill depth - at just about every position. A two deep is going to take 44 scholarships. When you start figuring they're definitely going to want more than 2 QB's, 2 RB's, throw in the fact that at times you'll have 5 or 6 db's on the field, multiple te's and they're going to be hurting. They could field a pretty solid starting lineup, but there will be little to no depth if injuries mount.
Odd his offer list is underwhelming to say the least. Best offers come from Penn State, Michigan State, and Mississippi State. Then it's guys like Akron, Buffalo, etc.
Just strange a 4* QB doesn't have more quality offers. And a Florida kid only has an offer from South Florida.
He's not really a Florida kid. He's from Canada and is going to a prep school in Florida.
As has often been pointed out, he is not a Florida kid, he just moved there (by way of TN, even) to get requalified. He is from the great frozen north. And it may be the kid just isn't that good, obviously the staff wanted Speight more than they wanted him. It IS possible, I imagine, that his reclassifying for 2014 instead of 2015 may have had something to do with it. Maybe coaches wanted to watch him throughout a year against better opposition than he faced up in Canada, and that prevented him from giving them that chance? That's pure speculation, so take it for what it's worth.
This is directly related to Michigan considering we are about to realign into the same division as Penn State. Get over yourself.
Penn State is always going to have some allure due to their history, but once the loss of scholarships really starts be felt, I think we'll see a couple of very bad seasons out of them.
once the reductions are over? I get that there's a 25 spot limit in the B1G, and who knows if they'll even get that number wanting to commit, but I see their only losses in their division coming from us and Ohio, and they should be at least competitive with everyone else, so replenishing in a couple years isn't unfeasible.
Also, kinda OT, but have you seen Big 12 recruiting? It's absolutly brutal. They have three in the top 25, but UT has a class that should drop as others fill out and size is less of an issue, OU is number 25, and Baylor is high right now, but they have a similar thing as UT with the size differential. Never thought I'd see the day when the B1G wasn't the worst-recruiting major conference.
this could be the best thing from Michigan's perspective- a decent PSU will be good enough to steal wins from the rest of the division but probably not M. One less crater of a program is good for the B10. a crater of a program in Happy Valley does no one any good.
Good for O'Brien. I'm really continuing to be impressed with his ability to recruit despite sanctions crippling the program. But I guess when you can tell kids you coached Tom Brady and the Patriots offense, its not that hard to sell a kid.
I have a feeling that Bill O'brien will be going back to the NFL in the not too distant future. He's only been at Penn State one year and he has already flirted with the league. Once the sanctions really start to hit I bet he'll be out of there.
PSU QB thread. Obligatory.
Then Woodley assisted on a tackle and knocked Daryl(sp?) Clark out of the game. Earn the right to rush four!
Good for them, maybe they are going to start two QB's to deal with their scholarship issues.
even w/ a scholarship roster of 65, I think a team can --- and probably should --- have 3 scholarship QBs.
I thought when the sanctions came down that the impact would be significant, but it wasn't the decade or more in the wilderness penalty that many claimed. Basically, Penn State had to survive last season and this coming season without becoming a laughing stock and maintain reasonable recruiting classes. A kid who starts in 2014 will face, at most, 2 non-bowl eligible years (unless he redshirts). If O'Brien wins 6-8 games this year he'll keep Penn State in a reasonable position prestige-wise, and no 2015 kids will care about the sanctions which will affect them for 1 year at most.
And as was said above in other posts, I'd like the Big Ten to have 4-5 nationally relevant teams and after Michigan and Ohio State you pretty much need one or more of Penn State, Nebraksa and/or Wisconsin to be decent to get there.