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Penn State Recruiting: Bill O'Brien Eyeing Virginia

During a Coaches Caravan stop in Richmond, Va. on Wednesday, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien pandered to the locals, outlining the role he expects the state to have in the Nittany Lions' recruiting efforts moving forward.

"We need to recruit the core of our roster from basically a six-seven hour driving distance, and this area, being about five, five-and-a-half hours from State College, is such a vital part of recruiting," O'Brien said.

He then praised former Penn State quarterback Michael Robinson, a Richmond native, and held him up as an example of the type of players he hopes to find. Robinson was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2005 and finished fifth in Heisman voting en route to leading the Lions their first Big Ten Championship since 1994.

"That's why we're here," he said. "To attract guys [who] have those Penn State characteristics that we're looking for."

O'Brien has already gotten off to a bit of a quick start in recruiting Virginia. In late February, he secured the verbal commitment of Class of 2013 quarterback Christian Hackenberg of Fork Union. ESPN rates Hackenberg four stars and ranks him the No. 1 signal caller in the country as well as the No. 11 recruit overall.

For O'Brien's full comments, check out the following video via the Penn State All-Sports Blog after the jump.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.