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Recruiting Class Stays Strong Following Sanctions

Over the past few months, Bill O’Brien and his staff built up a ton of momentum in terms of 2013 recruiting. The general fear was that the NCAA sanctions handed down yesterday could tear apart a recruiting class that a few weeks ago was just bordering on top ten in the country. Below is a roundup of everything that has unfolded including a glimpse at where each verbal commit for the Class of 2013 currently stands.

Decommits

Bad news first. Saturday afternoon saw four star defensive tackle Greg Webb revoke his commitment and jump ship to North Carolina. Unrelated to football, four star small forward Brandon Austin, who was thought to be a huge prize for Pat Chambers, decommitted on Sunday. There is no clear evidence that either of these decisions were made due to the Freeh Report or impending sanctions; however, four star cornerback from Ohio, Ross Douglas, decommitted following Monday’s penalties and committed to Michigan today. Current players are allowed to transfer and play at another program immediately, but there is no hard news in that department yet.

With Webb and Douglas out of the picture, the Class of 2013 stands at twelve total prospects and is ranked 15th, 18th, and 22nd, by Scout, Rivals, and 247 Sports respectively. Let’s take a look at the twelve remaining prospects and where they stand.

The Rest

Christian Hackenberg

Considered to be Penn State’s quarterback of the future, the four star signal caller from Virginia, who was at a camp over the weekend for elite quarterback prospects, has been relatively quiet. While he has not made an announcement yet, his name will constantly be discussed.

Adam Breneman

If there is a more important recruit than Hackenberg, it’s the five star tight end from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. While Breneman’s father initially said that no comments would be made, it appears that Breneman remains committed to Penn State.

Garrett Sickels

The four star defensive end from New Jersey was incredibly vocal about his loyalty to Penn State. He took to several social media outlets to show that he remained committed to the Nittany Lions.

Brendan Mahon

The four star offensive lineman from New Jersey was very vocal on Twitter, affirming his commitment to Bill O’Brien and Penn State.

Dorian Johnson

The five star offensive tackle from the Pittsburgh area committed to Penn State a month ago. While he initially declined to comment, Lions 247 reported that he remains committed to Penn State.

Neiko Robinson

The three star cornerback from Florida remains committed to Penn State according to Lions 247.

Brandon Bell

The three star linebacker from New Jersey remains committed to Penn State  but is still considering options according to Lions 247.

Zayd Issah

There is no real news to report regarding the four star linebacker from Pennsylvania who committed a few weeks ago.

Zach Bradshaw

There is also not much news from the three star Maryland linebacker other than he is still committed to Penn State and will discuss the matter with his family.

Will Fuller

No comment from the three star wide receiver from Philadelphia who committed to Penn State in early June.

Curtis Cothran

No real news regarding the three star defensive end from the Philadelphia suburbs.

Andrew Nelson

Nothing to report regarding the three star offensive linemen from Hershey, Pa.

 

If nothing else, this serves as a good reminder that no commitments are final until National Signing Day in early February. These are 16-18 year old kids, and no decision should be met with criticism.

Despite all of the distractions, O’Brien had put together a class that was both talented and close. That closeness and bonds formed over the past few months will be put to the test. It took some courage to commit to Penn State in the spring and early summer. Now, it’s tough to even come up with an appropriate adjective as any prospect would be foregoing at least a couple bowl games with the four year ban.

The 2013 recruiting class was shaping up to be something special before Monday. A day later, it’s still relatively intact. February is a long way away, but on what was one of the darkest days in Penn State Football history, things could have been much worse from a recruiting standpoint.

About the Author

Drew Balis

Drew is a senior marketing major. This fall, he will be covering Penn State Football for Onward State. He is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and loves THON and Domonic Brown.

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