Also, tomorrow on Katie Courics talk show, Sue will be doing an interview with Katie.
From the Centre Daily Times, State College
“The group of players and the staff that I have there, obviously along with my family are the three biggest influences,” O’Brien said.
Hackenberg had faith all along.
“He’s a man of his word,” The Fork Union Military Academy star said. “He told us that earlier this month. I can’t be more proud of who I’m going to play for.”
He’s expected to compete with second-year player Steven Bench and incoming junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson for the starting quarterback spot.
Hackenberg has not yet signed a letter of intent but O’Brien mentioned the upcoming quarterback battle in his interview with Jones.
“I think the key position for us is quarterback and who emerges at quarterback,” O’Brien said. “That’s going to be the biggest position for us to get up to speed as fast as we can.”
Ferguson will enroll at Penn State on Monday.
By David Jones, Harrisburg Patriot News
Penn State’s long holiday nightmare is over. Bill O’Brien is staying at Penn State.
In an exclusive conversation, the second-year head coach confirmed that he was contacted by and entertained overtures from multiple NFL clubs through his agent Joe Linta. But he has decided to remain at PSU for at least the 2013 season.
“I’m a man of my word. I am what I am. Maybe I get fired in six years. But I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.”
In addition to a clear testing of the pro head coaching waters, this was a strategic mission of sorts by O’Brien. By having Linta throw his name open to NFL openings and having the agent field offers, he was able to gain additional leverage that allowed him a chance to accomplish structural and personnel changes in the Penn State athletic department that may be forthcoming. O’Brien declined to be specific about those changes when asked but he did not deny those aims.
O’Brien acknowledged that PSU donor Terry Pegula, financier of the new Penn State hockey arena, has been a major ally in his efforts. Pegula was the first person who contacted O’Brien in late 2011 when he was eventually interviewed for the job.
Though O’Brien was not specific about it, high-level PSU sources have told me that a $1.3 million donation is to be added to O’Brien’s salary in the coming year that will bump his total compensation to $3.6 million and place him behind only Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($4.3M) and Iowa‘s Kirk Ferentz ($3.8M) as the third-highest-paid coach in the Big Ten.
voting, the coach’s agent was telling ESPN on Tuesday that Bill O’Brien wasn’t taking another job.
“(O’Brien) is staying, and we’ve had no conversations with anyone else,” Joe Linta said. “In fact, he’s leaving at 6 in the morning tomorrow to go out on the recruiting trail.”
Linta added that recent talk about how much his client would have to pay in order to buy out the remaining eight years of his contract at Penn State were “irrelevant.” Those rumors started recently when Patriot-News columnist David Jones asked O’Brien whether he was staying. The coach didn’t confirm that he was.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; November 27, 2012 – Penn State record-setting quarterback Matt McGloin (Scranton) has been named one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, presented to the nation’s outstanding college football player who began his career as a walk-on.
The Burlsworth Trophy was first presented in 2010 in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, a former All-American and walk-on offensive lineman at the University of Arkansas. Burlsworth died in an automobile accident 11 days after being selected by the Indianapolis Colts as the 63rd overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft.
The three finalists will be honored and the winner of the 2012 Burlsworth Trophy will be announced Monday, Dec. 3 at a banquet in Springdale, Ark., sponsored by the Springdale Rotary Club. Fans can vote for McGloin daily via the AT&T Fan Vote at http://www.burlsworthtrophy.com.
A fifth-year senior, McGloin is joined as a Burlsworth Trophy finalist by safety Jordan Kovacs (Michigan) and tackle David Quessenberry (San Jose State). Fifty players were nominated for the 2012 Burlsworth Trophy.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; November 26, 2012 – Penn State has been named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl‘s National Team of the Week, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), following the Nittany Lions‘ Senior Day 24-21 overtime win over Wisconsin.
With the thrilling victory over the defending Big Ten champions, Coach Bill O’Brien’sNittany Lions won for the eighth time in their last 10 games and finished with a 6-2 Big Ten mark and 8-4 overall. O’Brien became the first Penn State first-year coach to win eight games in the 126 years of the program.
The Nittany Lions are the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl’s National Team of the Week for the third time. The previous times were after victories against Ohio State in 2005 and 2008. Penn State is the first Big Ten team to earn the weekly honor this season
Written by Zach Berger for onwardstate.com
(As a follower and alum of Penn State during the “glory days” of the 70′s and 80′s, I have never been prouder of Penn State students than I have been this year. I remember the students thinking it was “cool” to sing “I don’t know the g-d words” instead of the words–now I hear the words being sung with conviction and meaning, and it chokes me with emotion as I proudly sing along!) - Myke Triebold
If you haven’t experienced it–go to you tube and watch the video–it is most impressive as an example of what Penn State truly is!
Just six weeks ago, I was one of the biggest National Football League fans that you could ever meet. There was nothing that excited me more than the prospect of a new football season. I bled green and white as a die-hard New York Jets fan. Penn State football, though something that excited me, was simply an afterthought in my realm of football fandom.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the Beaver Stadium experience — the chants, the feeling of standing with thousands of fellow State fans in the student section, the pre-game tailgates, and the official or unofficial whiteouts. I liked it. But I never loved it. In just six short weeks, Bill O’Brien’s new-look Nittany Lions football team has forced me to completely re-evaluate my disinterest towards college football.
I used to consider Saturday to be something that stood in the way of my NFL Sunday. Now Sunday just means that there are six days left until I make the walk to Beaver Stadium again. Based on conversations that I’ve had with fellow students, it seems that I’m not alone in this newfound love of college football. Thanks to a scandal that rocked the foundation of this university last November, the solidarity among the student body has grown and the vibe at football games appears to be stronger than ever as a result.
With a target on this team’s — and in extension, this school’s — back, the student body has recognized that the stakes are high during the few hours we spend each week in “The House That Joe Built”. This is very clearly the most important season in school history, and students are more excited now than ever about Penn State football. But “excited” isn’t the right word, because it’s so much more than that. Saturday is no longer just an excuse to get drunk and scream until you have no voice left. Saturday is serious.
On Saturday, the perseverance of our football team and our student body (and yes, our alumni too) is put on trial for the world to see. Six weeks ago, the projections for this team were dull. We were expected to win our first two games and lose our next four, not the other way around. Six weeks later, there’s a feeling that something really special is happening in that monstrosity that we call Beaver Stadium. The student section is exercising their power as the “12th man” more than ever before. The players feed off of the crowd and the crowd feeds off of the players. But none of this would be possible without the man that we affectionately call B.O.B.
Bill O’Brien has reenergized a football program and a fan base in the nine short months that he has been here. Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions had me convinced that college football could never even touch the excitement and electricity of a National Football League game. The pace was slower. The plays were conservative. The passes were short. Nothing that I saw in Beaver Stadium during the last two years of the Paterno era — my first two years at Penn State — made me want to jump off of my couch in joy or scream “We are…” at the top of my lungs. And now I can’t stop doing either of those things when watching the exciting Bill O’Brien offensive scheme.
Trick plays. Long passes. Rugged, downhill running backs.
Cover corners. Run-stoppers. Tough, hard-hitting linebackers.
The list of electric players on this team goes on and on — Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges, Michael Zordich, Zach Zwinak, Derek Day, Matt McGloin, Allen Robinson, Matt Lehman, and Kyle Carter. With Bill O’Brien at the helm, this Penn State football team has a powerful and explosive offense that looks to be light years ahead of the scheme that we were running just one year ago.
They operate at a faster pace. They use more complex looks and seem to be somewhat unpredictable for the first time in years. They go for fourth downs in field goal range. Every. Single. Time. They have a (fairly) accurate quarterback that’s found great chemistry with wideout Allen Robinson, who has been doing his best Derek Moye impression for the last six weeks. They average almost 400 yards of offense per game.
On the other side of the ball, the defense has dominated through the first half of the season. Their average of 16 points allowed per game is the 20th best in the nation. They have the ability to both run-stop successfully and play lockdown pass coverage. Their front seven features Michael Mauti, the defense’s fearless leader and just an all-around intimidating guy thanks to 232 pounds of destructive, havoc-wreaking body mass.
This is a well-rounded football team that has undergone a transformation, bringing just about every disinterested fan like me along with them.
Six weeks ago, I was an NFL fanatic who happened to go to college football games on the weekends for fun.
Six weeks later, I bleed blue and white and have been cursing the football gods for scheduling a bye one week after the best football game that I’ve seen Penn State play in my time as a student.
Sanctions be damned. I’m all in.
We’ve come to the halfway point in the most unusual season in Penn State football history.
It seems like an appropriate time to take stock of the Nittany Lion program.
Here are three things that we’ve learned so far:
—1. Bill O’Brien seems like the right man for the job.
Since Day 1, he’s said and done all the right things under tremendously trying circumstances. All of that great public relations work would mean little, however, if the Lions were performing poorly on the field.
After a stumbling 0-2 start, however, Penn State seems to be steadily improving — as evidenced by four straight wins, including a rousing 39-28 fourth-quarter comeback victory on Saturday over previously unbeaten Northwestern. The Wildcats came in ranked No. 24.
O’Brien has also shown no fear, especially when it comes to play-calling. Fourth-down gambles don’t seem to scare him at all, and the fans are eating it up.
In the wake of unprecedented NCAA sanctions in the offseason, O’Brien also managed to hold the program together when it could have spun wildly into the college football gutter. He did lose a few standout players to immediate transfers (Silas Redd, Justin Brown, Anthony Fera), but for the most part, the Nittany Lions stood by their school and their new coach. That’s a testament to O’Brien and those players.
Some experts are already boosting O’Brien for Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. That seems like a stretch after just two conference games. But there’s no denying that O’Brien’s work to date has been impressive.
—2. These Nittany Lions are genuinely fun to watch.
They may not be the most talented bunch in Penn State history. Precious few of them will likely earn a living in the NFL.
But man, they play with fire and they play the game the right way.
O’Brien takes every opportunity to heap praise on his senior class. O’Brien and his PSU seniors seem to have developed a special bond. That’s amazing considering they didn’t even know each other eight months ago.
Some of the Lions’ passion likely comes from an “Us-Against-the-World” mentality in the wake of the Sandusky Scandal. Some of it also comes from the fact that there will be no postseason games this season, or for the next few years. Therefore, the Lions can pour all of their heart and soul into the regular-season contests.
One has to wonder if the Lions can maintain that passion for six more games. That can be a hard thing to do. Most teams, sooner or later, come up empty. But so far, the Lions have consistently come ready to play.
—3. Recruiting, as expected, will be exceedingly difficult.
Since the NCAA sanctions came down, the Lions lost a few of their top recruits from their 2013 class.
And the new recruits they’ve attracted since then have generally been low-level prospects.
Penn State may also find it difficult to hold onto to some of the top verbal commitments they landed before the NCAA penalties came down, especially four-star Virginia quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who has been sending some mixed signals about his PSU commitment. He has said he remains committed to Penn State, but he has also said he wants to see how this PSU season plays out before signing on the dotted line in February. Those ambiguous statements have the Blue-and-White faithful on edge.
Losing Hackenberg would be a major blow — and not just because he’s a highly-rated player at a vital position. Losing the high-profile Hackenberg would also send a negative message to other potential recruits. It could have a domino effect. Penn State will have to play well and work hard to keep Hackenberg on board, because you can be sure that many other national powers will be calling, texting and visiting him.
O’Brien has done his best to publicize Penn State’s positives — its great facilities, its tremendous tradition and its national television exposure. O’Brien’s NFL-style offense and NFL contacts are also selling points. But given the severe sanctions, it’s still a very tough recruiting job.
In the final analysis, the Penn State football program under O’Brien is a work in progress — for this season and far beyond. In fact, this will likely be a long, hard slog for the next decade or so.
But after six games in this most unusual of Penn State seasons, there are reasons for hope. And at this point, that’s all Nittany Nation could have hoped for.