Brackett Goes on Offensive

Penn State first verbal for the Class of 2006 is having a great year at quarterback, leading his high school team to an 8-0 record and and the top spot in the conference. On recent visit to Happy Valley, the talented slinger began working on his sales pitch.

Among the plethora of recruits watching Penn State hammer Wisconsin in Beaver Stadium Saturday was current Nittany Lion commitment Brett Brackett.

The quarterback from Lawrence High in Lawrenceville, N.J., was the first to commit to PSU for its 2006 recruiting class in May of this year. Since then, he took unofficial visits to Happy Valley for two games earlier this season and made sure to take a visit for Penn State's last home game.

He was in town a day after throwing for a pair of scores in a 58-14 blowout of Allentown High that helped his team improve to 8-0 on the season. A week earlier, he passed for 290 yards and two scores in a conference-clinching win over rival Notre Dame High.

“I showed up and it was beautiful day,” Brackett said of his trip to PSU. “The weather was great and it set the tone for the day. We got there, met with some of the players. It was of huge magnitude and it showed how much people love football and how great it is to be getting into that.”

With respect to the game itself, Brackett summed it up short and sweet.

“They took care of Wisconsin,” he said. “I think the seniors went out well.”

Throughout the weekend, Brackett served as a goodwill ambassador for Penn State's 2006 recruiting class. He and fellow Penn State commitment Aaron Maybin were talking up the Nittany Lions' program to several non-committed recruits also in attendance for the game, including tight end prospect Andrew Quarless. Brackett made sure to let Quarless know how much he and the staff want him to join what could be a top-ranked recruiting class.

“I hadn't had a chance to meet Maybin until Saturday and I also met Quarless,” Brackett said. “We were like, 'we gotta get talking to these guys.' We talked to [Quarless] and I was like, 'hey c'mon, I like to throw to tight ends.' I was giving him stats from our high school. The tight end from my team has the best stats in the league. I think [Quarless] has an offer from Miami. I was like 'you should come here, Miami already has a few tight ends committed.' We also told him he looks good in the color blue and just messed around.”

When asked to gauge Quarless' reaction to the visit, Brackett said he thinks Penn State is, or at least should be, in good standing with the 6-foot-4, 225-pound tight end prospect.

“I think genuinely he liked Penn State,” Brackett said. “He didn't say 'I'm coming,' but I think he liked it. It's gotta be at the top of his list. I don't know how you could go to that game and not put Penn State on the top of your list.”

In his other discussions with Maybin, the two expressed their thoughts on committing to Penn State, each specifically referencing one common word: “home.”

“We were talking about how excited we are,” Brackett said. “He was saying how much of a relief it was. He said, 'I'm coming home.' That's what it feels like with me. It feels like home already.”

The Nittany Lions' offense also make Brackett feel at home. With a 6-foot-6, 235-pound frame, Brackett is not a prototypical pocket passer. He can also run, and run well. After having watched an entire season's worth of a revamped balanced offense with a young corps of playmakers, Brackett said he cannot wait to get under center and for the staff to utilize his multiple talents.

“I like the Penn State offense a lot,” Brackett said. “I think it can cater to a lot of things the quarterback can do. [Michael] Robinson is faster than I am, but I think the things they do with him, they'd like to do with me. I think the offense is geared more toward passing situations. I wouldn't run as much. I got to see some of the routes they ran. I've watched most of the games on television. With the vertical speed they have, it opens up a lot. It's dangerous.”

Brackett also said he felt any quarterback coming into Penn State's offensive system is spoiled with the crop of young playmaking wideouts.

“To have playmakers at wide receiver is all a quarterback can ask for - and a great offensive line,” Brackett said. “I think it makes it easier, honestly. I think the young receivers they have are going to get better. They've played a lot and it's going to make them better. Then those guys are going to teach the younger guys as they come into the program.”

There is youth all lined up at wideout and an aging icon roaming the sideline. Joe Paterno, arguably Penn State's most valuable recruiting mechanism, has continually made an impression on Brackett.

“I think he's a great guy,” Brackett said. “He's very laid back. He doesn't tell you what you want to hear. He tells you what he and the program can do for you. He doesn't give you false hope. Maybe some people don't like that, but I did. That's what I liked more about him. He's just a great person in general.”

One area Paterno will undoubtedly discuss with the young signal caller is the staff's expectations for him heading into the 2006 season. With the departure of Robinson, has the staff discussed what role Brackett will play once he gets on campus?

“None at all,” Brackett said. “We really haven't talked about it much. Any program you go in to you have to fight for a job, whether it's first or fourth string. [Anthony] Morelli is a great quarterback and could be starting at any other program. I just want to fight for the best spot I can.”


The Nittany Lions are going bowling this year. Want to be a part of the Fight On State bowl package, where you will receive the most travel bang for your buck and have a chance to spend time with folks from the best Penn State site on the Internet?


Fight On State Top Stories