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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
O'Brien talks about 2013 signees

By Josh Moyer

Coaches aren't able to talk about individual recruits until they sign their letters of intent. Here's how Penn State coach Bill O'Brien responded to questions about them Wednesday:

On QB Christian Hackenberg: "No. 1, is he's a really good person. We feel really good about our quarterback room right now. It's a young quarterback room. ... Christian fits right in there. He's a tall guy, he's got a very accurate arm, he's got a strong arm, he's smart -- and we feel good."

Christian Hackenberg
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said Christian Hackenberg will get a chance to compete right away.
On Hackenberg, Tyler Ferguson and the quarterbacks: "I will say this about the quarterback position. Those guys -- Christian, Steven Bench and Tyler Ferguson --- any one of those guys could be our starting quarterback against Syracuse, no question about it. So don't expect me to really name a starting quarterback at the end of spring practice. I might, but I might not."

On OT Andrew Nelson: "Andrew Nelson is a guy that we met early on, offered a scholarship to early on and really thought very highly of this guy -- like a high-character guy, a good student, great family and a Pennsylvania guy. We think he's going to be a heck of a player. Now I'm probably putting some pressure on him to come in here and do that, but he's big, tall, rangy. He can bend, he's tough. He's a Penn State offensive lineman."

On ATH Zayd Issah: "Zayd was a guy that we evaluated on tape early on. We evaluated him as a student and felt right away this is a guy who can be a Penn State linebacker. And that's saying a lot because we all know the history of Penn State linebackers here is the best in the history of college football. So we feel really good about Zayd and his athletic ability."

On DE Curtis Cothran: "We were really excited about the fact that we like this guy on tape. He's played very productively; he's a good guy. When you go to the school and observe these guys -- that's another way to tell how these guys are. When you go to a school, you look at Curtis Cothran. He's walking down the middle of the hallway; he's like the piped piper. Everyone's high-fiving him, everyone knows who he is. The teachers love him."

On S Kasey Gaines, DT Parker Cothren and S Neiko Robinson: "Gaines, Cothren, Robinson -- we think are going to be really good football players for us, so we're excited about having them on board. And that gives us a good, diverse mix of guys when you look at the geography of our roster."