They're staying. They're already legends.
Before what can only be known as the most tumultuous week in the history of Penn State athletics, the Nittany Lions had been one of the hottest teams on the recruiting trail. In spite of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal that dismantled the previous coaching staff and led to the firing of the legendary Joe Paterno, Penn State had picked up verbal commitments from multiple four-star athletes. Bill O'Brien and his staff were recruiting at a pace not seen in State College since the middle of the last decade, when the Nittany Lions won two Big Ten titles on the backs of elite recruits like Derrick Williams and Justin King.
The bottom looked like it was going to drop out on Monday, when NCAA President Mark Emmert announced "unprecedented" sanctions against the university's football team. Defensive backs coach John Butler called the Nittany Lions a team "in crisis" during his appearance on The Goon Show. Bill O'Brien was everywhere this week, telling every media personality that wanted an interview that the staff's highest priority was looking forward keeping this year's team intact. For the most part, that's happened.
Neglected in all of this week's commotion was the 2013 recruiting class. Ross Douglas de-committed immediately. The assumption was that his other highly rated classmates would follow, and that Penn State would struggle to recruit going forward. In yet another effort to stem the tide of defections, this time from recruits, O'Brien and his staff invited the current commitments to campus this weekend. In attendance were elite signal caller Christian Hackenberg, the nation's top tight end Adam Breneman, four-star defensive end Garrett Sickels, four-star offensive lineman Brendan Mahon, three-star offensive lineman Andrew Nelson, and three-star wide receiver Will Fuller. After their visit, Adam Breneman and broke the news on Twitter.
His five future teammates all followed.
GREAT time at Penn State! Coach O'Brienmade me remember why I committed in the 1st place. I'm 100% committed to the greatest college.— 4a Mvp (@Will_Fuller7) July 28, 2012
Six big time recruits. Six re-commitments. Penn State's not dead just yet.