Penn State Recruiting: Nittany Lions Branching Out

New Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien has a plan for recruiting.

Jeff Junstrom has an excellent update up on Penn State's most recent recruiting weekend. It's absolutely worth a read. In it, Junstrom details the weekend visitors, committed players who the new coaching staff reached out to, and this bit from a recent interview given by new head coach Bill O'Brien:

Coach O'Brien recently gave a free interview to Fight On State in which he discussed his recruiting philosophies. There is a lot of good information there, but the part that stuck out to me was his answer to the question about recruiting areas for each coach (emphasis mine):

[Mark Brennan, editor, FightOnState.com]: In the past, Penn State has really focused on a 300-mile radius (around State College). Is that something that will continue? Do you kind of have to keep your own house in order first before looking outside? Or do you look outside immediately?

[Coach O'Brien]: There's three main (things) we have to do to make sure we have the best program in the Big Ten. Number one is we've got to take care of that 300-mile radius. We've got to do a great job in the state of Pennsylvania. We've got to be able to go into Ohio. We've got to be able to go into Chicago. We've got to be able to go into New England and New York. And then, the mid-Atlantic states, especially with the job Larry Johnson has done recruiting in the Baltimore/D.C. area. That's definitely one of the objectives.

Then we've got to do a great job of recruiting the East Coast. So we're going to have three or four coaches in the state of Florida. We're going to have two coaches in the state of Georgia. (They'll be) looking for the types of guys we think will be a great fit for Penn State. But we've got to build our program, the foundation of our program, has to be with prospects from that 300-mile radius. Then we have to go down to Florida and Georgia and use the connections that we all have from when we recruited for different schools and find some Penn State players.

Then the third category I would say is anybody on our staff, including me, who has a connection to a guy who is playing in Texas or maybe California. Maybe it's an alum's son or something like that. We definitely will look to other parts of the country. But we have to concentrate on the East Coast.

Penn State has not won the national title in the lifetime of any current recruit. It will be interesting to see how much the Penn State brand is worth on a national level, as this is the first time in a while Penn State will look to recruit semi-nationally.

This is an excellent update and you should absolutely check out the rest at Black Shoe Diaries.

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