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Penn State Football: Recruiting Class Staying In Place Through Coaching Change

by on January 07, 2014 6:00 AM

A coaching change always opens up the possibility that incoming recruits will take their talents elsewhere. A prospect may have committed to work under a specific coach or with a staff of coaches. So when a coaching staff changes before a recruit enrolls, there is always a chance recruits will decommit.

But for Penn State, so far so good. The Nittany Lions have 19 players ready to join the team in 2014. Since Bill O'Brien and his staff's departure, none of the 19 have decided to head elsewhere. Some have admitted they want to see who replaces O'Brien in Happy Valley, but that's a reasonable stance. With no head coach in place and the majority of the coaching staff vacant, it makes sense that a recruit would want to wait and see what happens next.

The first important date in this process is January 15, the end of a recruiting dead period. After that date coaches are allowed to talk to any recruit. What that means for recruits who were locked up under O'Brien, is that other head coaches can try to talk them into considering other schools. If Penn State can get a coach in place by that date, it'll go along way toward keeping things together.

This weekend, four future Nittany Lions are expected to make their home in Happy Valley when by enrolling early at Penn State. Who knows what kind of contributions those recruits will eventually make on the field? But getting bodies on campus and moving the program in the right direction could be more valuable step in the right direction.

So the fantastic four of the 2014 class? 

Defensive tackle Antoine White

Receiver De'Andre Thompkins

  • Defensive tackle Tarow Barney
  • Offensive tackle Chasz Wright

Four star quarterback Michael O'Connor was set to join his four future teammates, but will hold out enrolling until he knows who his coach will be.

For a complete rundown of how each prospect stands in the transition process. Click here.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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