Penn State in the Running for Wimbush

The Nittany Lions extended a verbal scholarship offer to the Garden State quarterback recently. We caught up with him for his reaction.

When Heather Wimbush enrolled at Penn State in the 1980s, she left her running shoes at home, having finished her track career in high school.

As of two weeks ago, however, another member of the Wimbush family received the chance to combine academics and athletics at University Park. It just won't be on the track.

St. Peter's (Jersey City, N.J.) Class of 2015 quarterback Brandon Wimbush spoke with PSU head coach Bill O'Brien Oct. 20, receiving an offer he felt was coming, even if he was unable to attend the Lions' 43-40 quadruple overtime victory over MichiganOct. 12.

"My practice schedule got in the way [of visiting], but I'm in great communication with them recently," Wimbush said. "They've been trying to get me on the phone with Coach O'Brien badly, so I figured something was up.

"It was very exciting."

The junior said O'Brien was realistic yet optimistic when extending the offer.

"He was very excited, and telling me what he likes that I'm doing right now with my team, and that I'm a winner and tough," Wimbush said. "That's the biggest part.

"He was saying I defiantly have some things to work on. I like that he's real with me, and wants to coach me one day. It would be a great opportunity."

Wimbush, an early Scout four-star, took off in recruiting circles after a standout performance at the Lions' June 1 Advanced Skill Camp. It was there he first worked with O'Brien and Lions' quarterback coach Charlie Fisher, and also established a firmer relationship with tight ends coach John Strollo, who is leading his recruitment in the Garden State.

The offer marks number eight for the quarterback, who also holds verbal offers from Miami, Ohio State, and future Big Ten members Maryland and Rutgers.

"My head coach told Coach O'Brien that we have a decent quarterback, and he said Coach O'Brien was saying he has to see me throw and work out in person. That's when I made the decision to come up to camp," Wimbush said. "I was definitely able to work with Coach O'Brien, and learn a lot about Penn State.

"They have an offensive-minded coach, and he was able to tell me to work on my touch on some of my throws, and that I can't eye down receivers, and need to clean up some of my quarterback motions. That really meant a lot to me."

Wimbush's mother isn't pushing the Lions on him, but has told him that she loves the environment and liked the college town setting. Originally from Jamaica, she met Wimbush's father in Pennsylvania before moving to New Jersey.

The junior watched the Lions' victory over Michigan on television. He enjoyed the play of current Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg and hearing the stories from the players in attendance that he is friends with.

"They have a great program, and it's been built through Coach [Joe] Paterno and now Coach O'Brien is keeping it up and bringing it back up," Wimbush said. "I got to see more about what they're about last weekend when they played Michigan.

"It was an outstanding win, and it was good to see how tough they are and the character they have."

A trip to Penn State is in the works, likely for the Lions' November tilt with Nebraska. Though if St. Peter's has a play-off bye week when the Lions host Purdue Nov. 16, he may come then.

Through seven games, Wimbush has completed 52 of 80 passes for 822 yards and eight scores. He has thrown three interceptions.

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