The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

May 8, 2013

Penn State football: O'Brien's optimism continues to grow

PSU caravan makes stop at Penn Tech

(Continued)

The state high school coaches clinic is at Penn State next year and O'Brien is hoping to get 1,000 coaches there.

O'Brien has opened his Friday spring practices to high school coaches. He attended last year's PIAA football championship games in Hershey, something he said he had done while serving as a college coach in Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland.

A linebacker and defensive end at Brown, O'Brien said that he can see kids playing two ways again in college football, particularly due to the number of scholarships available to the program.

"We are very up-front with a prospect and we tell them that we are recruiting them at this (position) but you have to be ready at a moment's notice to go over there and play this position because you played wide receiver or safety in high school," he said. "It will probably happen more with skilled guys but it could also work with running backs and linebackers."

Selinsgrove graduate Ryan Keiser, a safety who has also served as Penn State's holder on special teams, is in the mix to earn more playing time on defense.

"Anytime you have more players, especially guys that are good players at a position, that's definitely going to help you," he said of the safety position. "With the move of Trevor Williams and Malik Golden, that's really helped us in the spring and hopefully that will carry over into the fall."

Another area that O'Brien is looking to gain an edge in is the health of his players.

"We are always looking to try and be on the cutting edge of fitness as well as the weight room," he said.

That can translate into a successful sophomore year for O'Brien and Penn State.

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