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Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Watch List QB O'Connor adds PSU offer

By Josh Moyer

ESPN Watch List quarterback Michael O'Connor wasn't expecting an offer from Penn State anytime soon -- especially after an unofficial visit two weeks ago that gave him the impression he'd have to wait.

Well, turns out he didn't have to wait long after all.

His coach at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, former Heisman winner Chris Weinke, told the QB on Monday that Bill O'Brien wanted to speak with him. So O'Connor called him Tuesday afternoon, and ESPN's coach of the year offered him a full ride. He's the only uncommitted quarterback with an offer from PSU.

"Honestly, I didn't really see it coming. When he pulled the trigger, that was awesome," O'Connor said. "They're definitely among the top."

O'Brien and the staff might not have to wait long, either, to see where O'Connor decides to play. The 6-foot-5, 223-pound pocket-passer hopes to commit somewhere by June, and he doesn't yet have plans for any other unofficial visits.

He hopes to see what other offers trickle in and what coaches plan to visit -- PSU quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher will be there next month -- and, then, he might take a few more trips in early June before deciding later in the month.

And, for now, PSU appears to be in good shape.

"I really like Coach O'Brien, first and foremost, and Coach Fisher," he said. "It's just the offense they run. It's a great offense. And they're going to push me. Tom Brady, that's intriguing. And they're playing in the Big Ten, a good conference, and their facilities are nice.

"It just seems like a great school all around, and it's another positive with their great business school."

O'Connor is up to 11 offers now -- holding offers from the likes of Michigan State, Syracuse and Mississippi State -- and the Nittany Lions became his most recent. O'Brien told the rising senior that the staff realized he's the type of QB they're looking for, and O'Connor was pretty sure he could pinpoint why.

When he sat down with Fisher, analyzing tape from a 7-on-7 segment of spring practice, PSU's quarterback coach would quiz him about a few plays. During one play, unprompted, he called out the play's name since his current playbook is pretty similar to the Nittany Lions.

"When I called out one of their plays, he just looked at me," O'Connor said with a laugh. "So I think that's one thing they really liked, that I can understand their offense. We were kind of on the same page there.

"It's a great feeling."