• O’Brien, PSU players welcome Maryland, Rutgers

    Penn State coach Bill O’Brien and a few of his players said Tuesday they welcomed the addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten.

    Maryland, which was admitted to the conference Monday, will begin play in 2014. Rutgers, which was admitted Tuesday, has to negotiate its exit from the Big East before competing in Big Ten play.

    “I think it’s great,” O’Brien said. “I think it’s great for college football. Now you really have the East Coast represented very well in the Big Ten. They’re two good teams added to a fantastic conference.”

    O’Brien served as a Maryland assistant coach from 2003-04 and worked with Terrapins coach Randy Edsall at Georgia Tech in 1998.

    The Nittany Lions have enjoyed recruiting success in the Baltimore-Washington area, led by defensive line coach Larry Johnson.

    Cornerback Stephon Morris is one of 13 players on the Penn State roster from Maryland. Three of his high school teammates from Eleanor Roosevelt in Greenbelt, Md., play for the Terrapins.

    “One of my old teammates (Isaiah Ross), he’s amped about it,” Morris said. “He said the young guys on the Maryland team are pretty excited about it, pretty fired up about playing Ohio State and Penn State, great programs with great tradition.

    “The people at home in general are very excited.”

    Edsall, who became Maryland head coach last season, is a York County native. Two former Penn State players are on his coaching staff, Greg Gattuso and Andre Powell.

    “It’s going to be fun to have them in the league and fun to play against them,” O’Brien said. “Randy
    is a great coach. It’ll be fun to recruit against them.”

    Nine players from Pennsylvania are on the Maryland roster, and 13 from the Keystone State are on the Rutgers roster, including Boyertown grad Chris Muller.

    Seven players from New Jersey are on the Penn State roster.

    “We recruit New Jersey and the Baltimore-D.C. area very well,” O’Brien said. “Penn State is not very far from those areas. We’ll be
    competing for some of the same players. I think it’s good for everybody.”

    Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson, who’s from Michigan, said his teammates from Maryland and New Jersey are positive about the Big Ten adding the Terrapins and the Scarlet Knights.

    “I would say a lot of guys are excited,” Robinson said. “It’s not too big of a deal to me. You still have to go out and play football.”

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