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Half-dozen ’13 recruits sticking with Penn State

Adam Breneman Getty Images

Thanks to NCAA sanctions leveled against the football program, Penn State is bracing itself for the loss of its top returning offensive player as well as (maybe) a handful of other current players.  On top of that, at least one verbal member of the Nittany Lions’ 2013 recruiting class has already decomitted.

Tight end Adam Breneman, the top commit in that class, though, reiterated his commitment to the Nittany Lions shortly after the punitive measures were announced.  On Saturday, nearly a half-dozen of his fellow class members followed suit.

Saturday, Breneman — along with Virginia quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Hershey offensive tackle Andrew Nelson, Philadelphia Roman Catholic wide receiver Will Fuller, New Jersey offensive lineman Brendan Mahon and New Jersey defensive end Garrett Sickels — met with first-year head coach Bill O’ Brien and his coaching staff throughout the day, with O’ Brien and his assistants, the Patriot-News wrote, “talking with each other about the NCAA sanctions imposed on the Nittany Lions’ football program earlier in the week.”

During those meetings, all six of the commits confirmed that they remain committed to being members of PSU’s recruiting class next February.

“This was important for half of our recruiting class to get together and talk things over. Our class is really tight,” Breneman told the paper. “It was not only good to meet with the coaches, but to just around and talk things over with each other.”

Breneman  acknowledged that he and the other recruits came into the meetings having second thoughts about keeping true to their verbal commitments.  With O’Brien and his staff setting their collective minds at ease, however, the six players had no problem walking into O’ Brien’s office halfway through the day yesterday and confirming their allegiance to the school.

“Publicly we were saying the right things, but we were all having second thoughts including myself,” Breneman said. “Coach O’Brien addressed all the negatives with us, and we all talked about them. We all have offers from other big schools like Alabama, Auburn and other SEC schools. But we believe in coach O’Brien and his staff.

“We could go to those other big schools, or we could come here and help a community and a university heal. I can tell you Penn State should be proud of this 2013 class. It was an emotional day. We’re so happy we all feel Penn State is the best place for us.”

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38 Responses to “Half-dozen ’13 recruits sticking with Penn State”
  1. youcantmakemepickausername says: Jul 29, 2012 5:33 PM

    I’m a PSU fan and i think their continued commitment is great.

    However, nothing matters until Feb of next year, and if all six sign with PSU i’ll be stunned.

    And that’s fine. College is the best four years (or in my case, 5 1/2) yrs of your life. If some of these guys decide it would be better someplace else, that’s their right and I wish them the best regardless.

  2. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 29, 2012 5:37 PM

    I admire their commitment to Penn State. Most rational people will.

  3. truetarheelfan says: Jul 29, 2012 6:37 PM

    I agree it is a great start for the healing process for the people of happy valley I was stunned when I saw sanctions levied against this program I believe the sanctions should not have been on the football program but the people in charge of the program… These kids were innocent smh it is a travesty we here in chapel hill feel so sorry and are praying for penn state a great institution… These kids have my highest respect for showing loyalty to penn state and I am proud to say that UNC is not actively pillaging their roster… Good luck God bless and God speed. Again a wonderful sign that even though the road will be rough there is light at the end of the tunnel

  4. phillyphan93 says: Jul 29, 2012 7:03 PM

    This “innocent” kid term is getting thrown around a little to much, the only kids that are “innocent” in this case were the ones violated on on the PSU campus. I admire the kids staying because they have a huge task, but they also have a choice to stay or go, lets keep this in perspective.

  5. spreadthecheese says: Jul 29, 2012 7:56 PM

    The problem these recruits are going to have is that other programs aren’t going to stop recruiting them. Hearing “you’re never going to play in a bowl game” over and over by different recruiters from now until signing day…I think that would wear down the best of people.

  6. finfan87 says: Jul 29, 2012 8:20 PM

    USC’s recent success, and in particular, Barkley’s, are probably some of the things these recruits are looking at. The 2013 recruits will only have 1 year to make a bowl impression as of right now…but maybe they think thats all they’ll need.

  7. deadeye says: Jul 29, 2012 8:25 PM

    It’s good they are following through on their commitment.

  8. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 29, 2012 8:28 PM

    @ finfan

    WTF is a “bowl impression?” The NFL doesnt give a flying f__K about bowl games, they find talent wherever it is to be found. Did Regina make a bowl game this year, did Montana make a bowl game this past season? Hell Utah State lost the friggin Potato Bowl, and these three teams had 6 guys drafted. But you think PSU missing the post season will prevent their kids from an NFL future? Well it doesnt surprise me, with the level of igorance shown re: Penn State.

  9. polegojim says: Jul 29, 2012 9:35 PM

    Ignorance or Reality???

    @hound… playing behind a mostly second string ‘starting team’ should do the trick.

    Bowl appearance = regular season success. PSU won’t have either. That’s the reality these recruits should consider – as much as PSU was after it’s OWN well being when ignoring child abuse… in their own showers…

    PSU broke the trust/agreement by closing both eyes to Sexual Child Abuse… On Campus… with knowledge of the Head Coach, AD, President, and BOD.

    I hate to see these recruits get smoke screened under the guise of ‘homerism and loyalty’, only to hurt their own future. Nothing is ‘owed’ PSU. It’s not disloyal to OPT OUT. PSU broke the bond of loyalty to these recruits.

    I’ve always LIKED PSU…but that’s reality.

  10. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 29, 2012 10:02 PM

    @ polejam

    We’re talking about football you stupid asshole, not the Penn State controversy.

    These 6 players referenced in the above article dont have a damn thing to do with child abuse. Now, can you separate the two or are you going to go through life spitting and cussing and foaming at the mouth. Just STFU fer cryin out loud, go bitch to that donkey you have tied to the stump in your back yard! LOL

  11. geo1113 says: Jul 29, 2012 10:25 PM


    I have been very critical of Penn State and believe it will take some time to distance themselves from the scandal. However, these recruits knew of the problems at Penn State before committing. Sure, they didn’t know of the NCAA penalties (which could have been more severe), but they had to have some inkling that sanctions were a possibility and they still committed. And now that they are sure of the sanctions, they are standing by their committment. I don’t see how anyone can possibly have a problem with that and it speaks well of these recruits.

  12. stairwayto7 says: Jul 29, 2012 10:55 PM

    So what if they don’t get to play in a bowl, they get an EDUCATION FIRST AND FORMOST! I woudl not be surprised if in another 10 years some of these guys are major success in the real world and kids who went to a bowl are homeless or working for McDonalds!

  13. truetarheelfan says: Jul 29, 2012 11:32 PM

    @philly fan

    Ur dead wrong those sexually abused kids weren’t the only innocent ones what happened to them was a travesty…. However what these players are having to endure is a travesty as well they did nothing and now it seems some ignorant people want to lump them in with Sandusky and his ungodly acts… (I hope h is raped repeatedly in prison and may God only have mercy on his black soul) but these kids had nothing to do with it nore was there ever one shred of truth that any current player knew a thing no I don’t believe innocent is being thrown around lightly I believe it isn’t being used enough when pertaining to the current players

  14. tommy57 says: Jul 29, 2012 11:39 PM

    I tend to agree with youcantmakemepickausername (have you considered something shorter, like YCMMPAUN?) It’s still early and they have time to change their mind. It may not be the loss of bowl game opportunity, but honestly ‘football weekends’ with home games in Happy Valley were a very unique experience. I’m confident the student body will work to continue making them special events, but for the next few years, it just won’t be the same, and probably shouldn’t be. It will take some time to establish a new PSU identity in this regard, and in the face of much, much criticism for even attempting to do so. These circumstances may proove too much to deal with, when they have an option to go somewhere else.

  15. steeler1nation says: Jul 30, 2012 12:42 AM

    IF all of these kids decide to stick with Penn State come LOI signing day next Feb. they are F*CKING BRAINWASHED MORONS!
    ’nuff said

  16. phillyphan93 says: Jul 30, 2012 1:36 AM

    This is the way the NCAA works, just look at the reggie bush case. It was an institutional failure at PSU, that was covered up to protect the football program which became larger then the protection of children. If you dont see that your sick. They enabled Sandusky till the end, giving him a playground to harbor relationships with these kids who he exploited for 3 decades.

  17. phillyphan93 says: Jul 30, 2012 1:57 AM

    Also lets not forget that these players that choose to stay are going to get the same if not more national coverage each week, and will always be remember in PSU’s history. So if the QB and the RB want to leave its their decision, the players that stay are going to come out smelling like roses, so I apologize for having a problem calling the “innocent”, they are CHOOSING to stay, they are also choosing to accept their free rides through college. The current players will be just fine even if they miss the Little Cesar’s bowl. Have some perspective when thinking about the victims in this case.

  18. truetarheelfan says: Jul 30, 2012 8:01 AM

    Absolutely maybe I didn’t make it clear Philly fan if not I’m sorry here is the skinny yes those children are victims of a predator…. And in no way was I comparing what they went through with football players their issues are on a whole nother level in. Completely different. Building than the football players, but I was referring to the way some people seem to want to put the current players under the bus too and in that they knew toning of that molesters evil doings they are innocent Nd yes it is a free ride but have u ever played college sports? I have and I can tell u now u work to get that scholarship u work hard as crap and u work to keep if even harder because it can be taken away…. So I think getting a “free ride” isnt so free it takes sacrifice and commitment…. U earn that scholly every day but this statement is also coming from a perspective of a one time college student athlete… So if u don’t agree I’m sorry I still hold those commits if they sign Loi’s to the highest regard for showing loyalty something I know isn’t easy in the wake of finding out a veritable monster was on the campus in the shadows

  19. truetarheelfan says: Jul 30, 2012 8:12 AM

    The short of it Philly fan…. The players are INNOCENT 😉

  20. kmori7996 says: Jul 30, 2012 9:05 AM

    This is another perspective for Philly fan and anyone rushing to feel so sorry for the children and the victims of the sexual abuse I’m SO sick of hearing about the children. This country doesn’t give a f*ck about children, and frankly, hasn’t in years. If this country cared about the children, we would pass reasonable gun laws so a six year old wouldn’t have to get should in the face while attending a movie with her parents. If this country cared about children for one minute, we would provide reasonable healthcare for children, like every other industrialized country. Realize this, our country has the highest poverty rate for children, lowest education rate, lowest amount of children insured, and one of the highest child mortality rates among industrialized countries. So before you start grand standing and getting emotional about the “children” and the “victims,” let’s keep our eye on the ball and remember that as a nation we decided long ago to stop caring about the “children.” So just stop……

  21. truetarheelfan says: Jul 30, 2012 9:15 AM

    I can agree with that sentiment we as a country don’t care but this was about the recruits sticking to there commitments in the wake of this tragedy…. But I do agree with u statement

  22. kmori7996 says: Jul 30, 2012 9:28 AM

    True….yes, you are right, it’s about the football recruits. I am just a little sick of the hypocrisy.

  23. polegojim says: Jul 30, 2012 9:45 AM

    @hound… way to go… 1) you perfectly depict the issue at PSU…. 2) nice job ignoring what we like to call ‘the facts’…

    You see – football, sanctions, and recruits go together in the adult world. They cannot be separated and is the ENTIRE reason we’re even talking about recruits both decom/non-decom.

    Stay classy tho – is that your typical response to disagreement? Gradeschool name calling?

    Keep it up – you’re an EASY target for refutation.

  24. polegojim says: Jul 30, 2012 9:51 AM

    @geo – I’m not knocking their committment or living up to their word – THAT I respect.

    What I’m saying is that recruits who believe folks like HOUND, and who think that playing on a MUCH weaker team won’t have a negative impact on their ‘talent showcase’ are kidding themselves.

    And to your point, because the recruits DIDN’T know what the sanctions would be when committing, the fact that some have decommitted isn’t a knock on their loyalty, it’s ‘reality’.

    They have every right NOT to ride a hamstrung horse in the Kentucky Derby!!!

  25. truetarheelfan says: Jul 30, 2012 10:04 AM


    Exactley it is their right to not commit to a school where it may as well be the death penalty…. But like u I RESPECT those six recruits for sticking with we are penn state…. It shows loyalty in a time when loyalty is all but nonexistent I don’t know how it will affect draft status if at all they will still be playing in the ummm is it still the big ten? So maybe it won’t affect as bad as some may think… I will say though that these recruits of they hold to their commitments an I think at least 4 will. Have earned or should have earned our respect and a huge pat on the back…. Cudos to them becaus if I were in their shoes I am not sure I would have the courage to stay that’s my reality… Apparently loyalty is alive and on life support in out country but alive none the less

  26. polegojim says: Jul 30, 2012 10:26 AM

    Yes Tru – that’s my point and I agree with the r-e-s-p-e-c-t you mention. Loyalty is noble… but I don’t believe that’s the issue here. It’s simply a ‘decision’ to stay or not.

    For me anyway – to say that the recruits who stay are ‘loyal’ is saying that those to transfer or decommit are ‘disloyal’ or ‘breaking their word’. I don’t believe for a second that is true.

    PSU violated the ‘loyalty’. I don’t believe it’s ‘ignoble’ and ‘disloyal’ to see that the circumstance under which they committed is NOT the same, and for them to respond differently and move on.

  27. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 30, 2012 10:49 AM

    @ polejam

    After reading your comments again I honestly dont think you have a clue what you are saying, or saying then not saying, then saying it again, the disagreeing with yourself. LOL

    You haven’t “refuted” anything. And nobody said it wasn’t these kid’s right to decommit if they want to, its their decision and if they believe its in their best interest to go elsewhere then they shouldn’t be criticized for it, likewise those sticking with their commits shouldn’t be criticized either. I respect their decision.

    And for the last time, those with NFL skills are not going to get lost in the backwash of the sanctions. If you think they will then you are every bit as delusional as you appear to be. Sorry.

  28. dkhhuey says: Jul 30, 2012 11:35 AM

    Good for them! It is admirable that they want to stay and gut it out! Had they left, the program would have been domed to be horrible for the next 8 years or more because more people would have left, and future recruits would have backed away. Now, they at least have a fighting chance to remain somewhat competitive! Only time will tell.

  29. polegojim says: Jul 30, 2012 11:39 AM

    @ hound – Trust me… I COMPETELY agree with myself… and relish WONDERFUL opportunities for a good debate and disagreement.

    I just don’t find the need to insult others while trying to prove my point. It doesn’t enhance the argument one bit and isn’t even remotely intimidating.

    1) good RB – poor O line
    2) good QB – poor receivers
    3) good LBs – poor D line
    4) good D line – poor LBs/CBs

    You seriously don’t think those scenario’s could have an impact on a players opportunity to show NFL qualities? Seriously?

    Then… why do players transfer when they’re NOT being used to their strengths… Ryan Mallet, plus many many many many others?

    Answer – to be able to most effectively showcase their talent for NFL prospects. Period.

  30. polegojim says: Jul 30, 2012 11:44 AM

    Well DK – probably pretty much doomed in any event – stay or leave. But… as you know, occassionally I can be wrong! But not too often

    Hey – on this one, I actually hope I AM wrong, or all the PSU reg season games lose their B1G importance and luster.

    … but I don’t think I’m wrong on this one.

  31. dkhhuey says: Jul 30, 2012 12:06 PM

    @pole – I absolutely think you’re right (if you repeat it – I’ll deny it vehemently).

    Hell, I am watching how VERY careful Urban is evaluating recruits based on losing only 3 scholarships a year – I can’t even imagine dealing with losing 10 per year. NOT to mention having your roster reduced from 85 to 65 as well.

    Right now, it is all rally behind to PSU brand and the emotions are high and positive as can be expected, given what all has gone on. This year they may even be competitive, if Redd doesn’t leave, that is – but next year and the following 5 – 6 years, reality is going to hit them and hit them hard and they are going to probably be battling Indiana for the bottom spot. If you are not getting the big name RBs, O-line, and receivers out on the field, the PB is going to put up some ugly numbers and they are going to get pummeled by most of the Big Ten teams. There are usually not to many offensive highlights in a 54 – 7 beat down!

  32. phillyphan93 says: Jul 30, 2012 1:14 PM

    Im sorry you have no heart and are so sick of hearing about the kids who were abused, and yes there is people in this country who still care about kids, I give up every weekend to coach 10 year olds because I sure as hell care. And as far as the gun laws in this country go, do you think that massacre would have happened if everyone in the theatre was holding a fire arm? I think not, i read an article a week before the incident stating a 70 year old man stopped an armed bank robbery, with the fire arms he was carrying, zero deaths and one criminal in jail.
    And for you @TarHeel “Captain Innocent” were you there to sprinkle magic innocent dust on the players at USC or SMU when their teammates/institutions let them down? i realize that since you played division 3 volleyball and feel some sick connections with the current students at PSU because you had to do a little homework while playing sports. I dont remember seeing one of the players names being brought up on charges in this case therefore they are neither “innocent ” or guilty, they are simply caught in the middle left to deal with the problems the last regime left. There not my rules, its the NCAA’s way of doing business. Live with it, you should feel happy that the NCAA didnt smack your school down worse with the allegations from 08-09.

  33. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 30, 2012 2:40 PM

    @ polejam

    Its pretty obvious I’m talking to somebody that doesnt know anything about college football. First of all, Ryan Mallet is FROM Arkansas, and he left Michigan when Rich Rod was hired simply because he never would have seen the field in the spread offense. You make it sound like the only reason guys transfer is for “NFL visibility.” Do you have any idea how many players actually ever get the chance to try out through Free Agent contracts, not to mention how few are actually drafted.

    Here’s a lesson for you in the NFL Talent Showcase: NFL Draft 2012

    Round 1
    Dontari Poe – Memphis
    Chandler Jones – Syracuse

    Round 2
    Brian Quick – Appy State
    Janoris Jenkins – North Alabama
    Amini Silatolu – Midwestern State
    Bobby Wagner – Utah State
    Devon Still – Penn St (since you think they are a 3rd world country now)
    Vinny Curry – Marshall

    Round 3
    Trumaine Johnson – Montana
    Josh Robinson – Central Florida
    Ronnie Hillman – San Diego St
    Brandon Brooks – Miami Ohio
    Demario Davis – Arkansas St
    Bernard Pierce – Temple
    Dwight Bentley – Louisiana Lafayette
    Akiem Hicks – REGINA
    TY Hilton – FIU
    Lamar Holmes – Southern Miss

    Round 4
    Gino Gradkowski – Delaware
    Robert Turbin – Utah St
    Devon Wylie – Fresno St
    Ladarius Green – Louisiana Lafayette
    Evan Rodriguez – Temple
    James Johnson – Nevada
    Mike Burris – SDSU
    Christian Thompson – South Carolina STATE
    Jerron McMillian – Maine
    Matt Johnson – Eastern Washington

    I’ll stop here because you look silly enough already. So much for your “showcasing theory.” LMAO

    There are over 10,000 players each year on Division 1 active rosters. 224 are drafted. The NFL goes, as this list clearly demonstrates, where the talent is.

    O’Brien has several coaches on staff with NFL backgrounds, players in their program with NFL skills will not be overlooked. I’ll refrain from calling you another name because I’m sure you feel stupid enough.

  34. truetarheelfan says: Jul 30, 2012 4:13 PM

    Phillyfan I actually played d2 basketball for UNC gboro but I played college athletics let’s not degrade into an arguement here I just don’t agree with u I’m applaud u for coaching kids yayy go Philly fan… And no inwasnt there but all those cases u bring up pertain to student athletes and bposters cheating…. Not having to deal with sanctions that they as players are not the cause of if ur gonna use examples at least make it relevant ur points make no sense with this case…. I’ll say this once and once only never in any of my comments did I call u a name or degrade u I expect the same respect from u as I have shown to u… Just because we don’t agree doesnt mean u get to be defensive and insult me so if u don’t like my comment just thumbs down it don’t be a twitter gangsta

  35. truetarheelfan says: Jul 30, 2012 7:20 PM

    Is it me or did this particular story evoke alot of emotion 😉

  36. phillyphan93 says: Jul 30, 2012 8:00 PM

    Last comment, this topic does draw out emotions, for better or worse, and people like us should keep talking so something like this doesnt happen again. I absolutely was not looking for recognition for coaching, but the guy who was agreeing with you was stating how he was tired of hearing about the children, and how America doesnt care about children. I was just reminding him that people do care and invest in the future. And my last point about the PSU punishment, wasnt it Kiffin the coach who violated recruiting/eligibility rules at TENN. and then rolled before the verdict was in? He went unpunished and the “innocent” players at TENN. were left to deal with the reduced scholarships and loss of bowl games, very similar to PSU.

  37. polegojim says: Jul 30, 2012 9:25 PM

    @ hound – so then… why would a PSU commit intentionally ‘choose’ to be on such a team, and maybe NOT stand out, when it could be completely be in their power and their full right to do better for themselves?

    That’s the point that you’re obscuring.

    Ryan Mallet – you precisely prove that point… and so does the fact that a number of PSU players and commits are chosing NOT to take that risk.

  38. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 30, 2012 10:28 PM

    @ polelicker

    No, the only point it proves on Mallet is that he was never going to see the field in Rodrigues’ offense. Duh!

    Why would a PSU commit….. hell I dont know. I’m not a Penn State guy, I’m only defending their right to choose. And you dont impress me as somebody thats every played organized sports so you’re not really a good reference point for any of that. Sorry.

    And to phillyfan

    NO, Kiffin didnt leave Tennessee on probation. The NCAA took a look at the program because everybody was so butthurt by Kiffin’s brash comments directed at Spurrier, Meyer, Saban, and Miles but found NOTHING. The had been accused of a handful of secondary violations and there was no penalty. This is all part of the Kiffin Mythology. Hell, Georgia had 28 secondary violations over the same period and guess what…. no friggin NCAA meddling.

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