Star linebacker Michael Mauti and starting quarterback Matt McGloin just finished their last seasons at Penn State, but that doesn't mean their impact will entirely go away in 2013.
That's because Mauti and McGloin imparted some words of wisdom to their potential successors in 2012.
Mauti talked to top tight end recruit Adam Breneman in November, according to Genaro C. Armas of the Associated Press, via the Herald-Star.
Breneman said, via the Associated Press report:
Now, it's our turn to come in, and, in a couple years, lead the program. That was definitely very motivating to talk to him.
It's a huge thing. Big shoes to follow up.
After McGloin's remarkable turnaround campaign in 2012, Penn State must now turn over another leaf and find its next starting quarterback.
Steven Bench, who will be a sophomore next season, learned under McGloin in 2012.
McGloin said, via the Associated Press report:
I've told Steven, it's not my team anymore. You have to take over, you have to manage stuff. He knows that. I'll be around helping him out, getting ready to take over.
Beyond Bench, junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson will be enrolling in January and promising quarterback recruit Christian Hackenberg (ranked at the top of the 2013 class at his position, according to ESPN) has committed to Penn State.
Penn State's success in 2012 shocked just about everybody, given the Jerry Sandusky scandal the previous year that shook University Park. A big reason why the Nittany Lions went 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten is because of the leadership that exuded from the program, whether it be the upperclassmen or head coach Bill O'Brien and his coaching staff.
In the end, the wisdom and inspiration imparted by the seniors may go a long way in keeping Penn State successful on the field, as well as in the classroom.
The Nittany Lions enjoyed a successful 2012 campaign, but it's not over yet. Under scholarship sanctions and a bowl ban for the next few years, there is still plenty of work to do for the football program and it starts with the right mindset.