The message board types have been crowing loudly since the weekend with news the unheralded pair of Austin Johnson and Derek Dowrey had committed to Penn State after camp in Happy Valley. Wails of "The class is getting away from the coaching staff" and all the other "sky is falling" stuff you expect to hear when anything less than a three-star recruit jumps on a Penn State offer were ringing out across the Penn State sphere.
Then, well, this happened.
BWI has confirmed, four-star offensive lineman Joey O'Connor has committed to Penn State. Check out BWI for more info shortly!
Boom. Just like that, the staff pulls a rabbit out of its hat and lands a big time offensive line recruit from Colorado of all places. O'Connor, is a 6'4", 285-pound horse from Windsor and has a very impressive offer sheet with offers from every Pac-12 program under the sun. Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, South Carolina , Tennessee, UCLA, Utah, and Washington State had all offered this prospect and Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon and Oklahoma had expressed interest according to his Rivals page.
Here's part of a scouting report from his ESPN profile, where he also earns four stars and a scout's grade of 80.
O'Connor is a tough agile football player with the explosion and playing strength to dominate opponents. Has the size and athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition. Displays very good flexibility, balance and agility showing the ability to be a very effective player in space;
This commitment is Penn State's fourth on the offensive line for the class of 2012 and with this news, the loss of Chris Muller to Rutgers last week doesn't look nearly as bad. This is all speculation, but perhaps the staff knew O'Connor was inbound and told Muller the class is full at his position? Hard to know for sure, but at the very least, it appears Penn State has some of its momentum back for the moment.
Anyway, here's what you've won.