COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two prized Penn State recruits have already backed away from their verbal commitments because of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal hanging over the football program and the uncertainty over the Nittany Lions' next head coach.
And more withdrawn commitments may be on the way.
Until the focus shifts to the future instead of the ugly recent past, national recruiting analysts believe it will be difficult for the Nittany Lions to turn things around.
"They're going to need someone to come in and re-invigorate the fans," said Scott Kennedy, director of scouting for Scout.com. "In today's society, I don't think this is as program-killing as people have talked about. Not to minimize what's been going on there, but I just don't think this is akin to a death penalty.
"However, I do think in the short term it's going to get worse before it gets better."
What was at one time considered a solid class of prospects — possibly among the 10 best in the nation — has no choice but to pin its future on the reassurance of what is expected to be a lame-duck coaching staff.
Five-star defensive tackle prospect Tommy Schutt from Glen Ellyn, Ill., announced on Monday he was taking back his commitment to Penn State and now says he's headed to Ohio State. Offensive lineman Joey O'Connor, of Windsor, Colo., also has reversed his thinking and now says he will not go to Penn State. He's still considering his options.
Gundy named top coach
DALLAS — Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy has been honored as the national coach of the year by the Football Writers Association of America.
Gundy was chosen Thursday as the winner of the Eddie Robinson Award. The other finalists were Michigan's Brady Hoke, LSU's Les Miles, Kansas State's Bill Snyder and Clemson's Dabo Swinney.
Meyer brings Marottito Ohio State
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State announced Thursday that Mickey Marotti, a member of new Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer's staff at Florida, would be hired to be assistant athletic director for football sports performance.
Marotti will be in charge of the Buckeyes' strength and conditioning. He is known for having players haul rocks, flip tires and work out at midnight.
Fordham hires UConn's QB coach Moorhead
NEW YORK — Fordham hired Connecticut quarterbacks coach and former Rams player Joe Moorhead to be its new football coach.
Moorhead played quarterback and wide receiver for Fordham and graduated in 1996. He has been with UConn since 2009. Before that, he was an assistant at Akron from 2004-08.
FCS All-America team
Walter Payton Award finalists Bo Levi Mitchell of Eastern Washington and Shakir Bell of Indiana State have been selected to The Associated Press FCS All-America team.
Mitchell leads FCS in yards passing per game at 364.5, and his 33 touchdown passes are tops in the nation. Bell is the leading rusher in FCS with 151.8 yards per game, 20 more than the next best average.
On third team, Murray State quarterback Casey Brockman got the nod, along with Eastern Kentucky running back Matt Denham and defensive back Jeremy Caldwell.