Bill O'Brien's top goal when it comes to recruiting at Penn State is simple: Keep top in-state talent from going elsewhere. Some question if Penn State ever really lost the edge with in-state recruiting.
Just take a look at the top prospects in the state of Pennsylvania over the last few years. In 2012, defensive end Noah Spence went to Ohio State, running back Rushell Shell decided to go to Pittsburgh and offensive lineman Chris Muller went to Rutgers. In 2011 Pennsylvania's top three prospects went to Texas Tech, Notre Dame and Michigan State.
The last top three prospect to go to Penn State, according to Rivals.com's rankings, was linebacker Mike Hull, in 2010. That year Penn State lured in quarterback Paul Jones, offensive linemen Miles Dieffenbach and Thomas Ricketts, tight end Kyle Baublitz and defensive end Dakota Royer. All of those players were ranked in the top ten in Pennsylvania.
So does Penn State have a problem keeping top talent in-state? Perhaps not as much as you would think. But what O'Brien would like to start doing is keeping the elite prospects from going to rival universities, such as Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin, in addition to national powers such as Alabama, Texas, Florida and so on.
Penn State's recruiting class for 2013 has already opened a few eyes, and the momentum is building for a class few would have expected given the dark situation the school is faced with working through.
Here is a look at 10 of the top prospects in Pennsylvania. How many will end up choosing to go to Penn State?