Fork Union's Christian Hackenberg had offers to play for college coaches like Nick Saban of Alabama, or Steve Spurrier at South Carolina.
But the junior quarterback, regarded as one of the top college prospects for 2013 in the country by more than one recruiting website, has decided to play for first-year coach Bill O'Brien at Penn State.
"I think he's a great guy. Definitely someone who will develop me to my potential," Hackenberg said on Wednesday.
Hackenberg visited Happy Valley earlier this month, and gave a verbal commitment to the Nittany Lions on Tuesday night. He listed Alabama, Miami, South Carolina, and Florida as his other finalists.
"My goal was to find a school where everything fell in line. Both academically, socially, athletically," Hackenberg said. "And Penn State -- after I met the staff and was up there and got to see what they were all about, athletically and academically -- I sort of knew that was where I was going to be."
ESPN and 247Sports both regard Hackenberg, who threw for 2,164 yards and 20 touchdowns last fall, among the top 100 junior prospects in the country. He's rated as a five-star recruit by ESPN, and a four-star quarterback by 247Sports and Rivals.
Hackenberg is the first player to commit to Penn State's 2013 recruiting class.
O'Brien was hired by to replace Joe Paterno in January. He had been the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, and didn't take over at Penn State full-time until after the Patriots' loss in the Super Bowl.
Hackenberg admitted the opportunity to play for a man who was just coaching Tom Brady a few weeks ago was a big factor in his decision.
"It was definitely a big-time player," he said. "I want to be compared to the best, and I want to be as best as I can. That's one of the things that I was looking forward to."
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