Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Penn State Nittany Lions [Print without images]

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Sounding off: Commits react to comeback

By Josh Moyer

NittanyNation contacted several Penn State commitments for their thoughts on the 39-28 comeback win against Northwestern and whether they're surprised with the team's performance this season.

Here’s what they had to say:

DE Curtis Cothran (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock)
Three stars, No. 99 at position

"It was crazy, just the fight in everybody that was playing. They got down like 10 or 15 or something like that. At first, I didn't know if they would wrap it up or not, and then they started fighting right back with three unanswered touchdowns. The stadium was just crazy. Whenever [Northwestern] was backed up near their own end zone by the students, I never heard anything that loud in my life.

"I always thought they were going to play well; I never doubted them. I thought no matter what everybody was saying, I knew they were going to be a good team this season because they all stuck together. I knew they were going to play hard."

LB Brandon Bell (Mays Landing, N.J./Oakcrest)
Three stars, No. 64 at position
"It was a great game. What were they down? Eleven? That was a great comeback.

"I wouldn't say I'm surprised by the team's success, but I am a little surprised with the offense's success. I'd hoped they would be good, but I didn't think they'd be moving the ball how they are now. Penn State really hasn't been known to throw the ball that much. I think Allen Robinson is a great player who really is stepping up."

CB Jordan Smith (Washington, D.C./Howard D. Woodson)
Three stars, No. 59 at position
"Watching the game from the stands, the atmosphere was crazy. The fans were into the game, the intensity was high, and the game was just so exciting.

"I'm really not surprised by the team. I always knew when I saw them practicing and I saw the spring game, I knew Bill O'Brien would be tremendous with this team. I always knew teams would have to worry about them, no matter what people were saying about them not having enough athletes because of the sanctions. Despite the kids that transferred, I always knew Penn State would still be a team that should be feared."

OG Tanner Hartman (Lynchburg, Va./Liberty Christian)
Two stars, No. 102 at position
"Just the way the team came back and fought; they scored 22 points in the fourth quarter, and they really played hard. Me and Coach [Larry] Johnson, we were talking about that after the game, hard how they play. They're never going to give up.

"That's something that motivates you coming in."

OG Brendan Mahon (Randolph, N.J./Randolph)
Four stars, ESPN 150, No. 10 at position
"Penn State wanted to win the game more than Northwestern.

"You know, it didn't surprise me. I know how good of a team Penn State was since the beginning. It was more of, when was it going to happen? It's harder for people to realize what Coach O'Brien has and what he brings to the table. It's easy to stand behind someone like Coach O'Brien and listen to everything he has to say and everything he preaches."