California four-star quarterback Patrick O’Brien signed his financial aid agreement with Nebraska last week, meaning he can have unlimited contact with the Husker’ coaching staff up until he enrolls at Nebraska in January.
It also gives the University the chance to now publicly talk about their future signal-caller.
“The fact that we are getting him here in the winter time and ready for spring ball is big heading into next fall,” said offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf. “When you show up in August, it’s a lot of stuff to learn and process in a short amount of time. The fact that we get him all winter and spring, it’s going to be very valuable for his sake.”
O’Brien committed to Nebraska in May, after landing an offer from the Huskers in April. At that time, it was his first offer.
“I’m go back with his head coach a ways. He really spoke highly of him,” said Langsdorf. “We watched a lot of film on him. He hadn’t played a ton – only his junior year. A lot of these guys are three-year starters, even four. So he didn’t have a ton of film, but we watched all of his games last year - probably more than once.”
Langsdorf liked what he saw - a quarterback who had good size and could make all the throws. A quarterback who was smart enough to handle the system the staff was implementing.
“I told him, ‘we were the first ones to find you and believed in you.’ I thought that would go a long ways in recruiting him,” said Langsdorf. “I told him, ‘when we offer you, you are going to get more offers.’ I told him that is how it works. People jump on it. He believed me.”
Langsdorf was right. The offers did come. Colorado. Texas Tech. UNLV. Colorado State.
It didn’t matter. After visiting in the spring O’Brien committed. The staff’s eagerness to jump in on him early played a huge part in the decision.
“Anytime you are that first offer, you have to put yourself out there a little bit,” said Langsdorf. “It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon of a guy who has ten offers, but when you are the first one, you have to make sure you are right. We did a lot of homework. We felt good about him. He was our type of guy. I didn’t even think we were taking a chance; we just needed to go for it.
The Nebraska offensive coordinator feels O’Brien’s upside is “huge.” He just needs more time on the field.
“He hasn’t played a lot football in his career. I think every time he steps on the field it’s very valuable to him,” said Langsdorf, who insists the staff isn’t looking for a particular sized quarterback.
“He has good size – you always like that. But we have had experience with 5-foot-10 guys who run around. I think we are ultimately looking for a guy who can win games. However he can do it or whatever size, weight and speed he is. I think we have found that in Patrick.”