Brackett began camp action Saturday afternoon, meeting, along with 15 other young passers, with Nittany Lion QB coach Jay Paterno. They gathered in the quarterbacks' room in the Lasch Building and enjoyed a video presentation of the drills they would run later in the day.
"That was a neat experience," he said. "You kind of picture ahead [to next year]. It's fun to look at."
When testing began in Holuba Hall, Brackett measured in at a tad below 6-foot-6, posted a 4.78 in the 40-yard dash and busted off a 4.22 shuttle run he called "awesome."
Later, the quarterbacks all ran through many of the same drills the Lions use at practice (which they had seen on video earlier), including the board drill, peripheral vision drill, anticipation drill, 2-on-1 and 3-on-2 read drills, board scramble drill and pass rush reset drill. The different drills help develop different basic QB skills, like footwork, concentration, vision, anticipation and decision-making.
Since Brackett has yet to sign a letter of intent, NCAA rules forbid the Penn State coaches from talking about him to the press. But among the passers at this camp — a group which included State College High's Ben Ganter — Brackett was far and away the most highly recruited prospect and looked the part in drills.
But the standout from Lawrence High in Lawrenceville, N.J., wasn't treated any differently than the other QBs.
Paterno put them all through their paces, with the help of former Penn State quarterback Tom Bill — now a coach at Hunterdon (N.J.) Central High — and former PSU player Tim Janocko — now head coach at Clearfield (Pa.) High. While Paterno did the bulk of the group teaching, Bill and Janocko would pull players aside to offer individual instruction.
Brackett clearly enjoyed himself during the session, swapping jerseys with another athlete so he could get the No. 5 he wears in high school, laughing at Paterno's famously bad jokes and kidding around with his fellow campers. He said he already feels like he belongs in Happy Valley, and that won't change if PSU brings in another quarterback for his class.
"Whatever the coaching staff wants to do," Brackett said. "Either way there's going to be competition for starting jobs. So it doesn't matter how many you bring in. ... You have two good quarterbacks coming in, they're going to push each other to get better."
Stayed tuned to FightOnState.com for more coverage from the two-day camp.