Illinois QB has a 'Bahl' on Penn State Visit

Woodstock, Ill., junior signal caller reconnects with Lions' quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne on a recent stop in Happy Valley.

Penn State has begun recruiting more than a handful of players that new head coach James Franklin and his staff was keeping an eye on while at Vanderbilt.

Billy Bahl is one of them.

The Woodstock, Ill., Marian Central Catholic Class of 2015 quarterback formed a relationship with Lions' quarterback coach Ricky Rahne when he, too, was in Nashville. Now at Penn State, Rahne reached back out to the 6-foot-3, 190-pound signal caller. Bahl visited University earlier this spring because of it.

"When [Rahne] left [Vanderbilt], I wasn't sure what was going to happen," Bahl said. "Then, a few weeks later, he contacted me and said, ‘We're at Penn State and would love to have you come out.'"

So Bahl did with his family, who took the drive from their Illinois home to State College and watch the Lions' 11th spring practice.

Thanks to a connection between one of Bahl's coaches and Rahne, the quarterback coach and others on the PSU staff had long ago seen the junior's film. Penn State did not offer, but Bahl does hold offers from Toledo, Ohio and South Dakota.

None of those programs equaled what he saw at Penn State, the quarterback said. Comparing the Lions' drilling to the MAC programs he has previously swung by this spring, he called the difference "crazy."

"This was my first spring Big Ten practice, and they do things a lot different," Bahl said. "The skill players are a little different, and watching [quarterback] Christian Hackenberg was crazy. He's ridiculous."

Bahl also had the opportunity to tour campus and speak with the Franklin and Rahne toward the end.

"I talked to him a little," Bahl said of Franklin. "He gave a presentation to all the athletes that were there, but we didn't get to talk about coming back.

"Coach Rahne said he's going to come see me throw in the spring, though."

Bahl will throw for plenty of schools this spring, as he rattled off Northwestern, Syracuse, Duke, Michigan State, Miami of Ohio and North Dakota State as other programs that have said they will swing by.

He's looking forward to performing for them all. The junior said is hoping to continue to hear from Penn State, too.

"I mean, I loved it," he said of the visit. "I hope they're interested. I really like what Coach Franklin is doing to get players motivated. I like their offense, and think I'd fit it.

"If they want me, I'd love to keep looking at them."

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