Recruiting holds up through sanctions 

December, 5, 2012
Bill O'Brien, the coach with the near-permanent scowl, softens up when he greets recruits and talks about what Penn State has to offer.

Christian Hackenberg
Josh Moyer/ESPN.comChristian Hackenberg, the No. 1 QB in the ESPN 150, has stayed with his Penn State commitment despite the sanctions.
He can't yet discuss bowls or conference titles because of the sanctions, so he takes a different tack. Look at Beaver Stadium, he tells them. Look at those 100,000 fans and that weekly exposure on national television. Look at the staff's experience and pay careful attention to the academics.

Through unprecedented sanctions, that pitch has held up well. It helped retain the nation's top quarterback in Christian Hackenberg and top tight end in Adam Breneman. It also prompted three other recruits -- Richy Anderson, Tanner Hartman and Parker Cothren -- to decommit from Maryland and Purdue after the sanctions and pledge there instead.