It's Bill O'Brien's first NFL Scouting Combine as head coach, and the Texans' new boss has a few former Nittany Lions going through the evaluation process.
Penn State offensive lineman John Urschel met with the media at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday, and was very complimentary of his former head coach.
"He obviously brought the New England offense to Penn State and it really served me well," Urschel said of O'Brien, who was Penn State's head coach in 2012 and 2013. "Helping with
my football IQ and recognizing defenses."
On O'Brien's importance to Penn State: "He was crucial, extremely, extremely important. We would not have been as successful without him."
Urschel (6-3, 313) was twice selected to the All-Big 10 first team, and named a third-team All American at guard in 2013. He said he patterns his game after New England offensive lineman Logan Mankins, and explained why.
"That's a guy who really gets after it, plays with a mean streak and that's how I try to play," Urschel said. "That's someone Coach O'Brien really had me study. Back at Penn State we had access
to old New England film. That's a guy I really watched a lot."
It wasn't all football, though, for Urschel. He graduated with a degree in math in 2012, and has worked on his masters in the same subject as well. With a 4.0 grade point average, Urschel was awarded the Campbell Trophy, which goes to the nation's top college football scholar athlete.
"It was an honor," Urschel said. "A culmination of I had done in my five years at Penn State, both academically and athletically."
Urschel said the Texans will interview him at some point over the next few days in Indianapolis.