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Bill O'Brien Close To Becoming Penn State Head Coach, According To Report

Could Penn State's darkest of dark horses also be the front-runner to be the Nittany Lions' next coach? Bill O'Brien, the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator, is reportedly all but hired as the next Penn State head coach, according to USA Today's Jonny Saraceno:

A person with knowledge of the Penn State hiring tells USA TODAY that only contract details need to be finalized before O'Brien is the man.

If it comes to fruition, O'Brien's hiring would be both unexpected and daring. O'Brien has never been a head coach, and has not been a college coach since serving as the offensive coordinator for Duke teams that went 1-22 during his time in Durham in 2005 and 2006.

But O'Brien's tenure in New England — he has risen from an offensive assistant position held in 2007 to the offensive coordinator role this year — gives him a certain amount of cachet.

Related: Jerry Sandusky fallout, replacing Joe Paterno, and Penn State's movement to support sexual abuse survivors. For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. More college football news.