Three scholarship quarterbacks have transferred from Penn State since last summer. Bill O’Brien and his staff have had little trouble filling the vacancies.
The Nittany Lions added another highly regarded quarterback on Saturday when four-star recruit Michael O’Connor announced his decision.
“I’ll be spending the next 4 years in Happy Valley, just committed to Penn State!” O’Connor posted on his Twitter account. “Thanks to everyone who supported me along the way!”
O’Connor, who attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., becomes Penn State’s 11th verbal commitment for the 2014 signing class. The Lions can only sign 15 players in February because of NCAA sanctions.
The 247sports composite rankings, which average in projections from multiple major recruiting services, rate O’Connor as the No. 12 pocket passer in the country. At 6-foot-4 with an impressive arm, O’Connor fits the mold of the pro-style quarterback that O’Brien prefers to run his offense.
Penn State has just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster for the 2013 season. Junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson and incoming five-star freshman Christian Hackenberg will compete for the starting job in August.
With the graduation of Matt McGloin and the transfers of Rob Bolden (LSU), Paul Jones (FCS Robert Morris) and now Steven Bench (South Florida), the Lions were looking to add some more depth at quarterback.
O’Connor is used to traveling to find opportunities. A native of Canada, O’Connor bolstered his profile for colleges when he moved to the U.S. to play at The Baylor School, a prep school in Chattanooga, Tenn. He recently moved to Florida, where he will play his senior season in the fall.
According to multiple recruiting services, O’Connor’s scholarship offers included Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Rutgers, South Florida and Vanderbilt.