Other Penn State recruits in the class of 2013 also were waiting to see if the anticipated "corrective and punitive" sanctions against the program include loss of scholarships and bowl appearances or the so-called "death penalty," which would shut down the program.
According to Mike Farrell of the recruiting service rivals.com, top Penn State recruits such as tight end Adam Breneman (Camp Hill, Pa.), offensive lineman Brendan Mahon (Randolph, N.J.), and defensive end Garrett Sickels (Little Silver, N.J.) were "solid" in their commitments to the Nittany Lions, pending Monday's news.
But offensive lineman Dorian Johnson (Bell Vernon, Pa.), perhaps the program's top recruit in the class of 2013, was declining comment and quarterback Christian Hackensberg of Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy was planning to have a "long discussion" with his father after the announcement of the sanctions, according to Farrell.
Brandon Bell, a linebacker from Oakcrest High in Mays Landing, N.J., who committed to Penn State in May, also declined to comment.
Recruits in the class of 2012 were under orders from current coach Bill O'Brien and his staff not to comment, according to former West Deptford, N.J., defensive lineman Jamil Pollard and former St. Augustine Prep (Richland, N.J.) defensive lineman Austin Johnson.
"We're not allowed to say anything," Johnson said of the class of 2012 recruits.
Said Pollard: "I'm deferring all comment to Coach O'Brien."
Webb, regarded by rivals.com as a four-star prospect, was the first recruit in the class of 2013 to de-commit from Penn State since the conviction of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and the release of the damaging Freeh report.
Webb, a 6-2, 290-pound defensive tackle who had nine sacks in leading Timber Creek to a 12-0 record last season, committed to North Carolina on Saturday along with Timber Creek teammate Dajaun Drennon.
Webb declined to comment Sunday, saying he was traveling home from North Carolina and would discuss his decision on Monday. Webb is rated by rivals.com as the seventh-best defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 3 overall recruit in New Jersey.
Timber Creek coach Rob Hinson said Sunday that Webb's decision to de-commit from Penn State was more about his comfort level at North Carolina, his desire to play with Drennon, and his family's pending move from New Jersey to a southern state.
"The timing is funny but it really wasn't about that," Hinson said of Webb's decision to de-commit from Penn State two days before the announcement of NCAA sanctions.
Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports.
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