Penn State Recruiting: Michael O'Connor Waiting Patiently for Coaching Hire

Tim TolleyContributor IJanuary 3, 2014

Nov 16, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; General view of a Penn State Nittany Lions helmet prior to the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Beaver Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

1/12/14 UPDATE: Michael O'Connor is in State College, has met with new head coach James Franklin and will enroll in classes at Penn State this week.

Florida 4-star quarterback Michael O'Connor has spent the past several days in St. Petersburg, Florida preparing for and playing in the Under Armour All-America Game on Thursday.

It was a great experience that I'll remember for the rest of my life. Being around the best players from all over the country—big time college players—was really helpful. Getting to see where you stand against the best players was a really beneficial experience before going to college.

O'Connor got to spend time getting to know future teammates Chris Godwin and DeAndre Thompkins, both of whom have committed to play receiver for the Nittany Lions.

But the week wasn't all roses for the young signal-caller.

Having lost his future QB coach in Charlie Fisher in early December and future head coach in Bill O'Brien this week, O'Connor's future is unclear:

It was nice having all of us (Thompkins, Godwin, Thomas Holley) together through it all to get each other's perspective. It was tough for all of us but we're all going through the same thing and we bonded from it. Those guys are really cool.

Despite reports from PennLive's Bob Flounders on Twitter that the quarterback had decided not to enroll early, O'Connor told me that he "wasn't sure yet," adding "if there is a new coach in place soon enough, and everything works out, that's still a possibility."

Since O'Brien's move to the NFL, O'Connor has been contacted by Rutgers, Michigan, UCLA and Michigan State, with the Spartans among his final two choices with Penn State. Despite his situation and interest from other programs, O'Connor emphatically replied "No" when asked if he had intentions of visiting any other schools.

Michael O'Connor, courtesy of 247Sports

As far as the rumors surrounding the Penn State coaching search, O'Connor has a previous relationship with James Franklin. He camped at Vanderbilt before being offered by the Commodore's head coach.

I got to sit down and meet with Coach Franklin in his office. He's a great coach and I have a lot of respect for him. We'll see where it goes but he'd be a great hire for Penn State and it was an honor to be recruited by him.

As far as Al Golden goes, O'Connor admitted to having been recruited by Miami but said he never got to speak with the head coach and "doesn't know much about Coach Golden."

Interim head coach Larry Johnson told the media on Friday that he is trying to organize a mass visit from the committed players on the weekend of Jan. 17, as reported by PSU athletics' official website. 

O'Connor has heard about the weekend but said, "I took my official visit the weekend of the Nebraska game, so I wouldn't be able to go on that weekend...but, I mean, I might already be enrolled by then."