Windsor's O'Connor opens recruitment

Over the summer, Windsor's O'Connor gave his commitment to Penn State. Now, several schools - including Colorado - will have a shot at him

With scandal and uncertainty swirling around the Penn State program, Joey O'Connor has decided the Nittany Lions are not for him.

The four-star offensive guard from Windsor, Colo., withdrew his verbal commitment to Penn State on Thursday night. O'Connor gave his commitment to the school over the summer and, prior to the scandal, was excited about the prospect of playing for legendary coach Joe Paterno. That all changed this week.

"I de-committed earlier tonight," O'Connor said. "At this point, I'm leaving it wide open and starting over."

This week, Penn State has been embroiled in a sex scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. In the past few days, the school's president and athletic director have either resigned or been fired, and on Wednesday night the 84-year-old Paterno was fired after 46 years as the Nittany Lions' head coach.

O'Connor expressed his sorrow for the situation at Penn State and his concern for the families of the victims.

Still, O'Connor knows it's time for him to find a new place to play.

O'Connor, who plays tackle for the Wizards (9-1 going into this week's Class 3A playoffs) is projected as a guard in college. The 6-foot-3, 285-pounder is now one of the top offensive linemen available. ranks him as the 12th-best guard prospect in the country.

In the past, O'Connor has let it be known that his desire is to play out of state. On Thursday night, he re-iterated that he still wants to play out of state. However, he said he won't shut the door on anybody – including Colorado – but he'll wait to figure that out.

"Right now, my focus is to get through my season," he said.

As soon as Windsor's season is over, he said he'll "begin the process again."

Asked which offers he currently holds, O'Connor said he would sort that out at season's end. In the past, it was known that he had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, Tennessee, UCLA, Utah and Penn State.

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