As Signing Day approaches, I realized that it's been quite some time since we've had an interview with one of our commits up on the site. So I decided to reach out to Brendan Brosnan for an interview, and he was luckily able to give up some time to talk with me a little bit about Penn State, his recruitment process, and his future. The Park Ridge, Illinois product gives us a great look into his situation coming from Vanderbilt and helps shed some light on the thinking process going through the minds of these high school stars. We'll have even more on Brendan come National Signing Day, but for now enjoy the interview he was kind enough to provide us with.
What is it about Coach Franklin that made you want to follow him?
He is just such an energetic guy. He has strong love for football and he really cares for his players, he treats them like they're family. I really respect his values and what he believes in. I feel like a lot of coaches, they don't really care about academics, but you can definitely tell, and from talking with some of his former players, that he definitely does stress academics and it was evident when I visited this weekend. I like his style, how he tries to make his players compete in everything they do. It kind of shapes the competitive atmosphere which pushes people to do the best they can on the field and also off the field as well. So I think that's really special. Him offering me a scholarship after he left Vanderbilt just showed that he believed in me, and he knew I could be a great player. That was enough for me, I believed in him, I loved him and the other coaches so it just showed that he believed in me and really knew what I was capable of doing.
You mentioned that he holds academic standards in high regards. Do you have any idea of what major you're looking to enter?
I'm going to go in undecided right now. Business, especially the Penn State Business school being regarded very highly- but right now I'm still undecided. I'm trying to get a feel for it. I wish I had it figured out right now, but the reality is I really don't. I haven't had that one experience where I'm like "I know that's what I want to do the rest of my life". So I think college will be a good time to figure that out.
Before Coach Franklin came to Penn State and before you were with Vanderbilt, did you have any interest in Penn State?
I wasn't in any contact with them really, other than the fact that I did grow up in Big Ten territory growing up in a suburb right outside of Chicago. I grew up watching Big Ten teams, and grew up watching Penn State. I always respected them as a football program and was aware of the tradition and the more dominant football program they have over there. When he offered me at Penn State I thought it was an awesome opportunity. Obviously I loved Vanderbilt when I committed there, but honestly I think one of the reasons Vanderbilt was so successful was because of Coach Franklin and the staff. Without them, there were too many uncertainties left at Vanderbilt for me to stay committed there. At Penn State I only see positives, and I only see the program going up. I'm looking forward to competing for Big Ten Championships and National Championships in the future.
I think it's largely Coach Franklin and the staff who are responsible for shifting the culture at Vanderbilt into a winning program, and making them into a respectable SEC team. I just don't know whether or not they're going to be good enough the next few years, or whether the culture's going to change and how Coach Mason is going to approach the new job. It's just hard to tell right now.
Aside from Coach Franklin, the academic standards, and the tradition, is there one thing that stands out to you, that you're most looking forward to about visiting?
After my visit I was honestly blown away at everything. The other players on the team are all really close, they look out for each other which was evident just by going out with them and hanging out with them a little bit. They're really close, good guys. All of the facilities, the weight room, the training room, the locker room, the stadium- everything is so amazing. It was really overwhelming when I visited. I could definitely see myself doing extremely well there and can see myself there for the next few years. Not to mention the awesome academics, 37th in the nation, huge alumni network for when you get out of college. It's pretty special.
Have Coach Franklin and Coach Hand told you anything specific about where you're going to play up here?
Ideally I'll play tackle. I'm 6'6", have a big frame, long arms, big hands, just kind of a longer body. I think I move really well, but honestly I'll play wherever they need me. I'll play center or wherever they need me to play. I think I'm really versatile. As far as their plan for me when I get there, all I can say is that I'm going to show up and I'm going to work as hard as I can, and just try to do the best that I can and see where that takes me. I'm going to put everything into it and see where that takes me, and honestly I think it's too early to tell right now-the only way to tell is when I get there and start working and see how I fit.
What's your favorite part of playing tackle, as opposed to playing center or guard?
The last two years of high school I've played tackle so I'm kind of used to it, and I love it. I like the fact that you get to protect the edge, you get to work in pass protection but you also play a crucial role in run blocking as well. With different assignments you have to pick up different people. My favorite thing is just pass protection. You're kind of one on one-most of the time-with a defensive end, so it shows how talented offensive tackles really are if they can block a guy one on one.
Along the lines of not knowing what will happen when you get up here, are you looking at possibly redshirting or something like that?
Honestly right now I think it's too early to tell. If that's the coaches' plan for me then I will gladly do that, just because it gives you another year to develop and get used to the program. It gives you four years to end up playing, but honestly I'm going to show up with the intention of starting. That's going to be my mindset going into it. I'm working for the starting spot, I don't care what anyone says. I think that's all I can really say right now, is that I'm going to work as hard as I can to get the starting spot right away.
Aside from the guys that you know who were committed to Vanderbilt with you, have you gotten a chance to know or meet any of the other 2014 guys?
Yeah, I was on an official this past weekend and I met a number of them. Some of them weren't there, but there are a lot of really good kids and I really think we have something special going on in the future. Especially with this class. Obviously great athletes; it should be fun.
I'm sure you noticed how freezing cold it was outside when you were here. Penn State winter is pretty terrible, do you think you're going to miss the warm weather at Vanderbilt?
Oh no (laughs). Growing up in Chicago, it's honestly not going to be a problem. I'd almost prefer that because I think it's advantageous for me just because I grew up with really cold, frigid winters and really warm summers. I'm used to it already so it won't be a problem. Nashville is definitely nice weather, but at the end of the day it's only weather and it's what you make of it.
Anything else to add?
I just can't wait to get started. I can't wait to come down in June and start working out.
Big thanks to Brendan for participating. We can't wait to see your signature on that letter of intent!