O'Brien Sticks with 'One Team' and Fans Rejoice
Thursday night had legions of Penn State fans on the edge of their seats, hanging on to every tweet and sweating out whether head coach Bill O'Brien would stay or leave for a lucrative NFL head coaching position and matching contract.
The news broke late Thursday night that O'Brien, despite interviewing with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns, would stay at Penn State. He told the Harrisburg Patriot News, "I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that's what I am going to do. I'm not gonna cut and run after one year, that's for sure."
Fans are already looking forward to next season, when the Nittany Lions – led by O'Brien – make their return to Beaver Stadium.
Troy Weller, the president of Nittanyville and a Penn State senior, said while he wasn't surprised O'Brien was quick to make his decision, he's pleased with the outcome. Weller said he believes that had O'Brien left Penn State for the NFL, the consequences could have impacted Penn State football even more negatively than the sanctions levied against the program in July.
"I'm happy that he chose to stay," Weller said. "NFL teams are going to do what's best for them and their organizations, so the interest that he drew from a couple teams shouldn't come as a surprise, considering all he's accomplished over the past year.
"I think he's made a bigger impact than people thought he was going to this time last year when he was hired. With keeping the team as intact as he did after the sanctions and winning eight games when some people thought that would be tough, he's done a great job.
"Time will tell if that success will continue, but with how the team played and what he's done in recruiting so far, Penn State is definitely headed in the right direction.
"People want him around."
Amid and after the speculation, members of O'Brien's squad took to Twitter to express how they felt about their coach's decision to stick with 'One Team.'
Some, such as former cornerback Stephon Morris, tweeted his confidence the rumors would soon be put to rest.