Quarterback Michael O’Connor To Transfer
Redshirt freshman and former four-star quarterback recruit Michael O’Connor will transfer from Penn State, according to Ryan Snyder at Blue White Illustrated.
BREAKING: I can confirm that QB Michael O’Connor intends to transfer out of the #PennState program.
— Ryan Snyder (@RivalsSnyder) December 11, 2014
Penn State later confirmed the news. There is no destination selected at this time.
O’Connor served as the third-string quarterback behind Christian Hackenberg this season after arriving at Penn State as a highly-touted prospect. As the season progressed, true freshman Trace McSorley was named the team’s second-string quarterback, bumping O’Connor to third-string duties.
The Ottawa, Ontario native committed to former head coach Bill O’Brien in 2013 as as a top 15 quarterback nationally by three of the four primary recruiting services. He was an ESPN 300 recruit and listed among TheRivals250 after leading IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. to an 8-2 record as a senior under the tutelage of former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Chris Weinke, throwing for for 1,804 yards and 18 touchdowns to earn Under Armour All-American honors.
The transfer leaves Penn State with McSorley, D.J. Crook, and incoming freshman Tommy Stevens, a dual-threat prospect from Indiana, as the team’s primary backups behind Hackenberg.
The move is a bit surprising, considering what James Franklin said about O’Connor in late November when asked to evaluate the young quarterback’s performance this season.
“O’Connor may be one of the top five workers in our program,” Franklin said the day before Thanksgiving. “In terms of in the weight room, his effort, his attention to detail, how he’s changed his body, how much stronger he’s gotten, how much quicker he’s gotten, how much faster he’s gotten.”