For the next four recruiting seasons, the Nittany Lions can have just 15 scholarship players instead of the usual 25. The university cannot be bowl-eligible until the 2013 recruiting class' senior year. Yet no members of the Penn State recruiting class announced plans to decommit Monday. In fact, some even announced their plans to honor their commitment and play for Penn State.
Despite swirling rumors that the schools that missed out on the prized recruits the first time around might still be interested, the high school stars weren't even thinking about visiting or speaking to other universities, and remain committed to coach Bill O'Brien and his staff.
Adam Breneman, from Cedar Cliff (Pa.) High, said in an interview with the Daily News that "it's going to take a lot to get me to decommit from Coach O'Brien." Apparently the sanctions were not enough to sway the top-ranked tight end in the country. Ryan Snyder, who covers Penn State football recruiting for rivals.com, tweeted a statement from Breneman Monday evening, in which Breneman said "Although I am still processing and discussing the impact of today's announcement with my family and coaches, I did speak with Coach O'Brien and his staff today and I remain committed to Penn State."
Offensive tackle Dorian Johnson, from Belle Vernon (Pa.) High, tweeted a message that said, "If you plan on calling/texting me about this [the sanctions] today … STILL NO COMMENT." According to a report from the 247SportsNetwork, Johnson has said he will remain committed to Penn State as well.
Garret Sickels, of Little Silver, N.J., the fourth-ranked defensive end in the class of 2013 by rivals.com, tweeted "#unfair" just hours following NCAA president Mark Emmert's announcement, and even responded to one of his followers who justified the ruling. Sickels retorted by telling his follower, "yeah you're so right. Punish those who had nothing to do with sandusky. Cool bro. You make sense."
Brendan Mahon, an offensive tackle from Randolph, N.J., has only tweeted 41 times in his life, but four of them came in response to the sanctions. "Since when our bowl games more important then playing with a great group of kids and great coaches? Every kids dream is to play in the NFL and Bill O'Brien and his staff will get me there," he said. Mahon later tweeted at Sickels, saying they were a "package deal," and later tweeted "O'Brien has my back I have his #PennState2013." According to Snyder, both Mahon and Sickels spoke with the Nittany Lion coaching staff Monday and are "100 percent committed to Penn State."
Though the next few weeks will involve some difficult discussions among the recruits and their families, their limited interactions Monday show the bond shared between players that haven't even taken the field together. For now, they are all still Nittany Lions, and some appear to be in it for the long haul.
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