O'Brien says linebacker recruit Issah won't play in 2013

Penn State Football coach Bill O'Brien confirmed his plans to remain at the university for the 2013-14 season at a news conference in State College, Pa. on Monday, January 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)

Penn State coach Bill O’Brien says that linebacker recruit Zayd Issah, who has been charged in an alleged forgery scheme and for attempting to pass counterfeit money, will not play for the Nittany Lions in 2013.

In an interview Wednesday with the Associated Press, O’Brien said he had met with Issah and his family last weekend to discuss the matter. He said he is leaving the door open to the possibility of the player returning.

“We want what’s best for Zayd,” O’Brien told the AP. “We don’t think Zayd is a bad kid at all. We think he’s a young guy that’s made a couple of questionable decisions. His next move will be determined by him.

“He will not be here next year to play football at Penn State, but eventual he could end up at Penn State down the road.”

Issah, 18, who starred at Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg, was charged March 10 on eight counts – four of them felony counts – after trying to use counterfeit money to buy food at a McDonald’s restaurant, Susquehanna Township police said. He has a hearing on May 9 before Dauphin County District Judge James A. Lenker.

Issah was one of 12 players who signed national letters of intent with Penn State on Feb. 6. He had been expected to provide depth at linebacker and to contribute on special teams.

--Joe Juliano