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Friday, July 19, 2013
5 Questions: 2016 QB Brandon McIlwain

By Josh Moyer

Every week, NittanyNation will pose five questions to a recruit, player, alum or coach about all things Penn State.

This week's subject is Brandon McIlwain, a 2016 quarterback out of Newtown (Pa.) Council Rock North who's also one of PSU's early targets at the position. He attended a one-day PSU camp last month.

NittanyNation: You've been to a few camps this summer: PSU, South Carolina, Temple, Rutgers. So, tell me, how did PSU's camp stack up against those? How was it different?

Brandon McIlwain: What I found different is they did a lot more 7-on-7 stuff, so they put the QB in more game-type situations. Other camps were more one-on-one stuff. Also, just coach interaction, I got to talk to Coach [Charlie] Fisher a little bit more and got to see Coach [Bill] O'Brien, so that was really cool.

It was just amazing. I got a lot of good info and, when I was talking to Coach Fisher, he talked a lot about the academic support and stuff like that. He mentioned the graduation rate and everything, so I thought that was really good.

NN: What's the most memorable recruiting pitch you've received -- from not just PSU, but anyone -- since the process has started up for you?

BM: Well, really, all the colleges and coaches I've talked to have been great about the way they've gone through it. With Coach [G.A.] Mangus at South Carolina, it was just kind of the way he said he wanted to go through it the right way, and Coach [John] Butler said very similar things.

The process is starting earlier than most for me and they both said, if I ever need anything, I can call them. If I have any concerns, I can call them. And that helped me a lot because I know if I have any questions, I can go to them. So that builds trust.

NN: What do you like most about PSU at this point, and what do you like the least?

BM: Most I like is the tradition, how it's traditionally always been a great school and it's had a lot of great quarterbacks. And, now, I like the academics. It's a great academic school, and the academic support is really good. And the team's remodeling all the facilities -- like the weight room is amazing and humongous. And, really, everything. I love Penn State; it's a great time seeing everything.

And, as of now, I can't really think of anything I don't like about Penn State.

NN: One of your teammates last year, defensive end Curtis Cothran, is now a freshman on PSU's team. What kind of factor does that play into your recruitment? Is it a big deal, just a bonus, or does it not really matter?

BM: If I have any questions, I could obviously ask him. And he's told me a few things about the school and what he likes about it. Also, he has a good relationship with Coach Butler, so he told me the kind of guy he is and how all the coaches are.

I'm also able to talk to Curtis' dad about everything and how Coach O'Brien told the players that now that you're at Penn State, you have to be dedicated. That it's time to work. I liked that. Curtis being there helps me because I get to know more about Penn State.

NN: Have you given much thought to what games you want to attend this fall?

BM: Well, I'm definitely going to a Penn State game. I'm more than likely going to attend a Temple game, maybe Rutgers, and then I was also invited to go down and see a game at Miami [Fla.]. And I think that's somewhere I might go.

I haven't picked out which Penn State game yet, and I'm not sure it'll be just one because the stadium's amazing. I'm not sure which game; I'm not sure if I'll go to one or two.