A great deal has been made of the feeding frenzy that has descended on Happy Valley and its current players in response to the NCAA sanctions levied on Penn State.
Those sanctions, among other things, include relaxed transfer rules for current players, who, according to Adam Hoge of CBS Chicago, are allowed to transfer without penalty until the start of the 2013 season. It is a bit more complicated than that, but that is the gist of it.
However, at Big Ten Media Days, Guy Cipriano of the Centre Daily Times tweeted the following:
O'Brien says whole team but "two or three" players have committed to returning.— Guy Cipriano (@cdtguy) July 27, 2012
Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti, one of the three players chosen to accompany O'Brien to Media Days, backs this up. He informed the Big Ten Network's Tom Dienhart:
Mauti thinks only a handful of Nittany Lions may leave. #B1GFootall— Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) July 27, 2012
Of course, one has to wonder who those "handful" of players will be. Losing running back Silas Redd or defensive lineman Jordan Hill could cripple Penn State in a year where it already returns the second-fewest starters in the Big Ten (per Phil Steele's college football blog).
Mauti told Dienhart that he knew "for a fact that Illinois was after" Penn State players, and he was not happy about their actions.
With or without Redd and Hill, Penn State meets Illinois in Champaign on Sept. 29, and it could be the beginning of an intense rivalry.