Back From US Army All-American Bowl

<b>Dan Connor</b>, rated the #2 LB by, is enrolling at Penn State for the spring term. How did he like his trip to San Antonio for U.S. Army All-America Bowl? Is he ready to compete for playing time at Penn State?

Name: Dan Connor
Position: LB, FB
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 215 pounds
40-Yard Dash: 4.55 seconds
School: Strath Haven High School, Wallingford, PA

Dan Connor played on the victorious East team in the January 3 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. Fresh from that game, Dan will be headed to Penn State for the beginning of Penn State's spring semester on January 12. Lion News had a chance to catch up with Dan to get his thoughts on his bowl game experience and on his upcoming Penn State enrollment.

"It was a lot of fun. I got to meet all the guys you always read about. Kind of try out how you do against that type of competition. I really had a great time."

Connor saw action on offense, defense and on special teams. The East team had an extraordinary group of linebackers that limited the playing time Dan received at linebacker.

"I definitely would have liked to play more linebacker. I was kind of bouncing around during practices between that (linebacker), offense and special teams. I didn't play as much linebacker as I would have liked to get in the flow of the game. I kind of went down there just for the practices, so I could get repetitions in practice to get the game speed. I thought the trip was a success and I'm real confident in seeing how I can do in a fast tempo game like that. I got out of it what I wanted."

Part of the fun of an all-star game is the opportunity to meet your peers. Dan spent some time with both Chad Henne and Brian Toal. Did he rib Chad for not choosing Penn State?

"I decided not to bring it up", Dan said with a laugh.

Connor arrives at Penn State on Saturday and will start classes on January 12. Dan will be rooming with Greg Harrison, another early enrollee, and thinks he will be living on the same floor as fellow linebacker Paul Pozlusny. Paul was the host on his official visit and the two have gotten to know each other pretty well.

What are Dan's thoughts on early playing time?

"It looks pretty open right now. If I'm ready by August I'd love the chance to play. I'll just play it by ear and see how everything goes. It's a pretty open job and they have a lot of confidence in me. That's one of my goals, to go in there and help out somewhere, whether it's at linebacker or different special teams stuff, wherever they need me. I'd love to play that first year."

Have the coaches discussed which linebacker position he will play?

"I think outside. I'm not even positive yet. They've thrown around the middle or the fritz backer. So its one of those two."

What did PSU tell you about your weight?

"They really didn't talk about that. I don't think they usually go for real big linebackers. I know Posluzny's like what I am. He and I both want to get up to about 225 or 230 by the season. That's one of the reasons I'm leaving early so I can put on weight up there and work out with those guys."

After the season there was some conjecture about Coach Ron Vanderlinden leaving the program and the effect that would have on Connor's commitment.

Dan commented, "He's staying. It seems like its pretty common for coaches to go for other jobs and interview in the offseason. He has full intentions of staying, so I'm not real worried. He seems to really love Penn State and loves coaching everybody, so he seems set on staying. Everyone up there is real excited about our whole recruiting class."

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