Michael O'Connor to Penn State: Nittany Lions Land 4-Star QB Prospect

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2013

Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com

Although Michael O'Connor had plenty of options in front of him, the top recruit has decided to attend Penn State.  

247Sports.com first reported the news of the quarterback's decision:

"First off they have a great business program," O'Connor said. He visited the campus in the spring. "I'll get a great education there regardless of what happens on the field. The coaching with Coach (Bill) O'Brien, he does a great job with quarterbacks and they run a pro-style offense."

Ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 12 pro-style passer, the 6-foot-4, 223-pound O’Connor becomes the 11th pledge for Coach O’Brien and his staff in the class-of-2014. Last year, O’Brien secured signatures from five-star quarterback Christian Hackenberg and four-star JUCO standout Tyler Ferguson.

"I'll have chance to compete, that's what Coach O'Brien said and that's all I can ask," O'Connor said.

O'Connor has the potential to be one of the best pocket passers in the entire class. He has great accuracy with his throws and his delivery at this stage is almost flawless.

Additionally, his size at 6'5" 223 pounds will help him a lot at the next level. He will be able to see his receivers easily over the line on short routes and he has the strength to take hits and still get balls down the field.

These abilities help him be ranked the No. 12 player at his position, according to 247 Sports' composite rankings. Jamie Newberg of Fox Sports Next thought he could be even better than that:

The Bradenton, Florida recruit was also invited to the 2013 Orlando Nike Football Training Camp, where he displayed great pure skill with plenty of room to improve. You can view his training session here (via ESPN):

It is no wonder the youngster out of IMG Academy had racked up over a dozen scholarship offers coming into his senior season.

Of course, there are always some negatives with a player coming out of high school. He does not have great speed and is unlikely to beat too many defenders out of the pocket. It will also take him some time to learn the collegiate playbook before succeeding at the next level.

Still, the Nittany Lions are getting an excellent player in O'Connor. He will likely stay on the bench at the beginning until he is ready to perform, but he could end up leading his new team to great heights.

If he lives up to expectations, there could be a lot of individual and team success over the next few years.


Rob Goldberg is a member of Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates.

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