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Players React to Bill O’Brien’s Departure

Amidst all the bickering last night, something really incredible happened.

When news finally broke about Bill O’Brien’s departure for the NFL, Twitter was predictably riddled with what are known as “hot takes” — knee-jerk opinions, irresponsibly rendered in the heat of the moment. I can’t say I didn’t have a few myself. In any case, a large chunk of the fan base was set on — in some cases, justifiably — slamming O’Brien for his decision to leave with three years left on his contract.

But one section of the Penn State community remained in lock-step solidarity. Although the news appeared to take them by surprise, nearly all of Bill O’Brien’s current and former players who were compelled to speak publicly had nothing but admiration and glowing words for their outgoing coach. Truthfully, it made me feel small.

Here’s what Penn State players had to say about their soon-to-be former coach (class year listed as 2013 eligibility):

Freshman TE Adam Breneman

Senior DT DaQuan Jones


Senior Center Ty Howle

Senior Safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong


Senior Guard John Urschel

Senior Tackle Adam Gress


Junior Safety Adrian Amos



Junior RB Bill Belton


Junior DE Brad Bars


Freshman RB Chip Chiappialle



Former KS Joe Marvin

Former QB Daryll Clark


Former WR Graham Zug


Sophomore TE Kyle Carter


Sophomore RB Akeel Lynch

Former LB Kyle Lucas


Junior G Miles Dieffenbach


Freshman LB Brandon Bell

Former Center Matt Stankiewicz


Junior LB Mike Hull

Freshman RB Brian Tomasetti


Sophomore CB Jesse Merise



Former T Quinn Barham



Senior Safety Malcolm Willis



Sophomore LB TJ Rhattigan


Junior WR Allen Robinson (gulp)

Sophomore WR Matt Zanellato


Sophomore LB Nyeem Wartman

Former CB Jesse Alfreno


Sophomore DE Deion Barnes



Freshman DT Austin Johnson





Freshman DE Curtis Cothran



Former DL Joe Hines

Former LB Michael Yancich


Junior G Bryan Davie

Freshman DT Derek Dowrey


Former WR Ryan Scherer


Sophomore TE Jesse James

Freshman DT Brian Gaia


Freshman WR Gregg Garrity

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]


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