Penn State coach Bill O'Brien sort of knew what he was getting into when he left a Super Bowl team to take over for Joe Paterno amid the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Now with major NCAA sanctions to also deal with, O'Brien finds himself with the rare task of recruiting his entire current roster to remain at PSU while also trying to retain his current committed recruits. This has meant a lot of public conversation as well, much of it focusing on the same selling points: Penn State's academics, "six or seven bowl games a year" in front of 108,000 fans (he's very right that no bowl can offer that kind of crowd), competition against Big Ten teams, games on TV via the Big Ten Network at very least, and NFL-quality coaching.
One such conversation, with ESPN's Ivan Maisel:
The list of publicly reported interest in Penn State's roster includes USC; Alabama, Tennessee, Arizona, and Kansas; South Carolina; Illinois; Oregon, Virginia Tech, Virginia, N.C. State, UConn, Maryland, Marshall, and UMass; Georgia, Cal, and Baylor; UCLA and Boston College. That's in addition to committed recruits, with Michigan already taking one.
Backup tackle Ryan Nowicki will reportedly leave for Illinois, but that's the only damage so far. And while more than a dozen Penn State players (many of them starters) and a handful of recruits have affirmed their commitments to State College, those are hardly ironclad, plus others appear to be on the fence for now. Backup quarterback Rob Bolden, for one.