Patrick O'Brien was a relatively unknown signal-caller out of San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano, California, before the Huskers offered him. And on May 21, O'Brien committed to Nebraska, becoming the sixth commit of the 2016 class.
O'Brien earned the NU offer on April 21. It came after Husker offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf visited O'Brien the week prior. One month later, Langsdorf was back at San Juan to see O'Brien, and the QB committed then.
"I wanted to tell him in person," O'Brien told The World-Herald.
The World-Herald's Sam McKewon broke down O'Brien in his "Big, Fat Recruiting Update", saying that O'Brien's lack of offers was a little baffling, considering the size and evident arm strength seen on his highlight tape.
O'Brien, who stands 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, is rated a four-star by Rivals, Scout and 247 Sports. ESPN ranks O'Brien as a three-star.
O'Brien also excelled in the Elite 11 camp, making his way to the finals.
The camp, run by ESPN analyst and former NFL QB Trent Dilfer, is one of the most prestigious for high school quarterbacks. Eighteen quarterbacks are invited to the nation’s top high school quarterback event.
O'Brien didn't have a single offer until Nebraska, though several others followed.
O'Brien, a former pitcher who starting focusing of football in the last couple of years, has been training with quarterback guru Steve Calhoun, who also worked with Taylor Martinez in California.
“Patrick can break the pocket and cut out for 30 yards if he needs to,” Calhoun said.
But Calhoun agrees that O’Brien’s gift is a strong slingshot. An arm built for the deep comebacks and long post routes built into Riley’s offense.
O’Brien is a late bloomer because he straddled between quarterbacking and pitching, McKewon writes. Some players make that transition seamlessly. O’Brien has been much better, Calhoun said, now that he’s developed more muscle memory.
“We used to struggle to make the transition from curveballs to throwing the football,” Calhoun said.
O'Brien is the prototypical pro-style quarterback with just enough speed and mobility to be a reasonable running threat if Nebraska needed to execute a zone read play. He has good arm strength, accuracy on shorter routes and, at least on film, above average recognition of open receivers in a scheme. He places balls in the right spots, especially in the red zone. O'Brien is an excellent long-term fit for coach Mike Riley's system.
Photo: Steve Breazeale/The Capistrano Dispatch
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