Some people wonder how Penn State coach Bill O'Brien can land top recruits while the Nittany Lions are dealing with crippling NCAA sanctions.
Well, now we have a really good idea of just what O'Brien's pitch to prospects is like. Penn State has posted a recruiting video on YouTube that is both slickly made and insightful. You can watch it here.
When listing the things Penn State has to offer, O'Brien first mentions education. He also touches on the "unique setting" of State College, the 108,000 seats at Beaver Stadium and the team's coaching staff. But, ultimately, he says in the video, it "comes down to the type of players we have on our team. All of the good teams that I've been associated with have always had one characteristic that carries across. And that is, we had high-character guys, mentally tough guys, guys that were smart, guys that were good teammates. And so that's what we have here at Penn State, and that's what we're always going to go out and look for.
"We don't ever take the so-called top 150 list of top high school players and just, pin the tail on the donkey. We don't do that. What we do is, we try to learn about the players, learn about their families, learn about what makes them tick and bring the right people to Penn State."
O'Brien calls Penn State a "world-class" university and says "we need world-class people here."
Some words that are never mentioned in the video, which runs for 3 minutes and 24 seconds: "bowls," "NCAA" and "scholarship reductions." Like any good recruiter, O'Brien knows he has to accentuate the positive and not dwell on the negatives surrounding the program. That plan of attack has worked well for him so far.
It's hard to imagine O'Brien's predecessor starring in a video like this. Then again, the challenges O'Brien faces on the recruiting trail are pretty much unprecedented.