Penn State recruiting fares well despite sanctions

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 06, 2013
Penn State's first recruiting class since the NCAA hammered the program with sanctions includes a potential quarterback of the future and a promising pass-rushing defensive end. So much for the gloom-and-doom scenarios about getting shunned on the recruiting trail following the steep scholarship cuts as part of the penalties for the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal. High school prospects could formally declare their college choices starting Wednesday. As expected, Penn State received commitments from coveted Virginia quarterback Christian Hackenberg and highly rated New Jersey defensive end Garrett Sickels. About a dozen seniors total were expected to sign Wednesday, joining five prospects who have already enrolled early as freshmen. Recruiting analysts are commending coach Bill O'Brien for being to keep the core of this recruiting class intact amid the sanctions. ''They get a `B' for results and an `A-plus' for effort, which translates into a real good class,'' said veteran CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. A few touted prospects had taken back verbal commitments since July, after the NCAA announced its sanctions which also included a four-year postseason ban. O'Brien and his coaching staff have worked hard to keep its class together. The centerpieces of the class, including Hackenberg, Sickels and Pennsylvania tight end Adam Breneman, stuck with their long-standing verbal commitments. They've been vocal on social media about their keeping their pledges to Penn State. Christian Hackenberg's father, Erick, said O'Brien has been honest with the family during the highs and lows of the last several months. O'Brien has the program back on steady ground following a better-than-expected 8-4 record in 2012 and an improved passing attack. A pro-style offense modeled after the system O'Brien coordinated in his previous job with the New England Patriots looked good, too, to Hackenberg. ''I don't think there's a group of recruits, parents or coaches ... that's gone through more than Penn State,'' Erick Hackenberg said Wednesday in a phone interview. ''Everything that (O'Brien) has ever said has been dead on.'' Breneman is already enrolled and taking classes after graduating early from high school. He and the four other January enrollees can take part in spring practice starting next month. Most of the 17 expected signees had sent letters-of-intent by early afternoon. No late surprise defections or additions were expected. ''The main theme of the class was keeping it together, rebounding and adding key pieces down the stretch,'' said Sean Fitz, editor of Lions24/7, which follows Penn State recruiting. ''It was a tough job, a tough sell, but I think they did a phenomenal job.'' The NCAA sanctions capped the number of recruits that Penn State can sign to 15 annually for the next four years starting with the 2013 class. Most teams can sign 25 in a year. However, recruits who joined Penn State as early enrollees officially count against the 2012 scholarship class - meaning the 2013 class could actually include more than 15 players.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Data shows NFL-backed youth program that claimed reduced concussions is bogus

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Odom’s family working hard to get him to go to rehab

Drug dealers adding Olympic rings to cocaine wrappers in Rio

Report: Cowboys have ‘no interest’ in Freeney, Hardy

Report: Bradham was defending girlfriend during alleged assault

Elliott domestic violence case being taken to city prosecutor

Belichick: Brady is not going to lose his starting job

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

MLB asks Yaisel Puig to stop wearing his Vin Scully cleats

Study finds link on babies named Shea, Mets’ success

Durant: Being cheered by Oracle Arena crowd ‘felt a little weird’

10 must-watch WWE Network outside-the-ring videos

Is Marchand worth the money he’s reportedly asking for?

Rams sent emails hawking hats to old ticket holders in St. Louis

Miami Marlins unveil logo for 2017 MLB All-Star Game

Enes Kanter blasts writer over Russell Westbrook bashing

WATCH: Rick Sutcliffe cuts up tie during Cubs-White Sox game

Kirk Cousins has excellent take on franchise tag

Broncos DB during DUI arrest: I can't wait to tell Obama

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker