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O’Brien: QB Decision "By the End of the Week"

by on August 20, 2013 7:18 AM

Bill O’Brien will wait until “the end of the week” to pick a starting quarterback for Penn State’s Aug. 31 season opener, the head coach said on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” show this morning.

“I’d say it’s pretty close right now,” O’Brien said of the quarterback battle. “I’d say by the end of the week we’ll probably make a decision. But whatever we do we’ll do what’s best for the team. We have two really talented guys there.”

O’Brien praised freshman Christian Hackenberg, the nation’s top prep quarterback last year, according to, and Tyler Ferguson, a junior college transfer in his first season at Penn State.

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“These are two of the best young quarterbacks that I’ve ever coached,” O’Brien told substitute hosts Adnan Virk and Jemele Hill. “Christian is 18 and Tyler Ferguson is 19. And these guys have come into training camp and really have had good command in the huddle. They’ve got a decent grasp of our offense. They’re throwing the ball well.

“Christian is about 6-foot-4. He’s got really good throwing mechanics. He throws the ball accurately. He’s athletic. He’s smart. He’s got a great demeanor about him. He’s poised. He’s had some really nice two-minute drills for us.

“Tyler’s an athletic guy (with) a little different playing style than Christian. He’s also had some good moments here in training camp.”

The Penn State football program will be featured in an all-access one-hour ESPN special “All-Access: Penn State Training Days,” at 7 p.m. tonight on ESPN.

The quarterback questions for O’Brien aren’t over for the day; he will meet with the local media this afternoon.

Mike Poorman has covered Penn State football since 1979, and for since the 2009 season. His column appears on Mondays and Fridays. Follow him on Twitter at His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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