Four-star quarterback recruit Michael O’Connor drove to State College with his family today but has not made a final decision regarding his early enrollment, he told Ryan Snyder. O’Connor was initially supposed to begin classes this semester but decided to reconsider his enrollment after Bill O’Brien announced he was leaving Penn State to coach the Houston Texans.
The family make the seven-hour trek from Ottawa but will not sign scholarship papers until O’Connor is comfortable with the coaching situation at Penn State. The 6’6″, 223 lb. prospect from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida has been committed to Penn State since June and is the ninth best pro-style quarterback and the 192nd overall player in the country.
O’Connor is likely waiting to hear who will be Penn State’s next head coach. The news will be made official tomorrow at 4:15 p.m., with Dave Joyner and Rodney Erickson making a “special announcement.” All reports point toward Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin as O’Brien’s successor. Franklin’s contract is expected to become finalized tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. at a special Board of Trustees compensation meeting.
Franklin and O’Connor already have history, leading sports reporters to believe O’Connor will stick with Penn State. Vanderbilt actually recruited O’Connor to play for the Commodores before he comitted to Penn State. But O’Connor has said he is considering staying at IMG Academy rather than enrolling early. Another concern is that O’Connor received serious interest from Michigan State, Missouri, and Rutgers during his recruitment, giving him plenty of options if he wants them.
Losing O’Connor could be devastating for Penn State, as backup quarterback Tyler Ferguson already transferred to Louisville. This makes Christian Hackenberg the only scholarship quarterback on the roster.
Seeing as spring classes begin on Monday, O’Connor is on a tight deadline to make a decision if he would like to proceed with his plans to enroll early. We can only hope Franklin is able to quickly convince O’Connor to stay in Happy Valley. Based on Franklin’s recruiting reputation, things are looking good for Penn State.