Our series of Penn State player previews continues today with the last installment on the offensive side of the ball.
The last thing that Penn State fans would want to see this season is Christian Hackenberg go down with an injury and miss any amount of games. In the event that the stud sophomore signal caller does sustain an injury and can’t play, true freshman Michael O’Connor will be called upon to lead the offense.
O’Connor was one of the freshmen who enrolled early this past January, so he already has some handle on the playbook and he knows what college life is like. The Ottawa native comes to Happy Valley from IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL and was recruited by Bill O’Brien and the former staff.
Once James Franklin was hired, O’Connor considered taking his talents elsewhere, but he stuck with the Nittany Lions and enrolled early just as he had planned.
The 6-4, 226-pounder was one of the highest rated recruits in Penn State’s 2014 class. According to Rivals, O’Connor was the No. 184 overall player in the country and the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the 2014 class. Other notable offers that O’Connor had included Michigan State, Missouri, Rutgers and Vanderbilt.
Don’t expect much from O’Connor on the field in 2014. He’s a very talented player, but Penn State’s quarterback situation is obviously very settled. As it was already mentioned, O’Connor probably won’t see any playing time unless Hackenberg can’t play for whatever reason or if the game is a blowout in the fourth quarter.
However, if you want to look ahead, O’Connor and 2015 quarterback commit Brandon Wimbush could provide a great starting quarterback battle in the years to come.