Coach Bill O'Brien is no longer new to the Penn State program and its players, but after the departure of a special senior class, the Lions are starting over for the 2013 season.
Colleague Ivan Maisel was in State College this spring and writes about Penn State today:
The seniors are done. Some are off to the NFL. Some will receive their degrees Saturday. The next edition of the Penn State football team has finished spring practice. The Nittany Lions have the challenge of matching the drive and desire and brotherhood of last season's team.
The Nittany Lions say there's nothing to see here. It's a new season. Leaders leave every team every year. As far as the players are concerned, the crazy circumstances of this past summer no longer apply.
"I feel no pressure to try to follow in Mauti's footsteps or Zordich's footsteps," senior guard John Urschel said, "because it's a new year, a new team. We have different circumstances. This 2013 Penn State football team has its own identity that's disjointed from the identity of last year. We don't have the same players. We don't have the same makeup. Things are different, and we accept that. We face it."
Check out Maisel's full story on Penn State here.