Thursday, April 4, 2013
O'Brien: LB Issah off team, for now
By Josh Moyer
Three-star linebacker Zayd Issah will not football at Penn State this fall, but "eventually he could end up at Penn State down the road," Bill O'Brien told The Associated Press on Wednesday evening.
Issah, a standout athlete at Harrisburg (Pa.) Central Dauphin, was charged March 10 with trying to pass off counterfeit $20 bills at a local McDonald's. According to the criminal complaint, Issah and two teenage friends tried to pass off the fake bills while paying at the drive-thru window. They fled, but employees identified the vehicle, and police later found them.
Issah faces felony charges for conspiracy and forgery and also misdemeanors for theft by deception. The Harrisburg-Patriot News first reported the story last week.
"We want what's best for Zayd. We don't think Zayd is a bad kid at all. We think he's a young guy that's made a couple questionable decisions," O'Brien told the AP. "His next move will be determined by him ... He will not be here next year to play football at Penn State, but eventually he could end up at Penn State down the road."
According to the AP, O'Brien met with Issah and his parents over the weekend. A decision has still not been reached on his next step.
Issah decommitted after the sanctions and contemplated choosing Oregon, Arizona State or another school. Eventually, more than three months later on Dec. 9, he re-committed to the Nittany Lions.
"It's Linebacker U," Issah told ESPN before signing day. "That did it for me."
The linebacker's departure -- short-term or otherwise -- is a blow to the Nittany Lions this season. O'Brien lamented the linebacker depth this spring, and there will now just be a half-dozen scholarship players at the position over the summer.
One of those players, Ben Kline, is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. And another, Brandon Bell, is an incoming freshman.