Bill O'Brien: QB decision imminent

Updated: August 20, 2013, 3:30 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The battle between junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson and prized freshman Christian Hackenberg for Penn State's quarterback job will go down to the wire.

Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien said Tuesday he will likely wait until the end of the week to name the starter for their Aug. 31 opener against visiting Syracuse.

"I'd say it's pretty close right now," O'Brien said in an interview on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike" show. "I'd say by the end of the week we'll probably make a decision. But whatever we do we'll do what's best for the team. We have two really talented guys there."

This year's starter will replace Matt McGloin, who rewrote the school record book in O'Brien's first year on the Penn State sideline, completing 60.5 percent of his passes for 3,271 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions.

O'Brien praised Ferguson and Hackenberg, calling them two of the best young quarterbacks he's ever coached. 

"These guys have come into training camp and really have had good command in the huddle," O'Brien said. "They've got a decent grasp of our offense. They're throwing the ball well."

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