Following the NCAA's sanctioning of Penn State in July 2011, the Nittany Lions were handcuffed when it came to recruiting. Bill O'Brien was facing multiple years of only being able to give out 15 scholarships per year, while other teams recruit up to (and occasionally more than) 25 high school prospects each cycle.
This past September, the NCAA had a change of heart and lessened those sanctions, particularly in the area of scholarship reductions.
As a result, Penn State will be able to take on 23 new scholarship athletes on this cycle's national signing day in February, including a handful of early enrollees—players who will begin their collegiate careers in January.
According to 247Sports, the Nittany Lions currently have 16 verbal commitments and possess the 26th best class in the country.
After 13 true freshmen saw action in 2013, it's likely that a number of this year's recruits will also have the chance to make a splash in their first year on campus.
Let's take a look at the five current commits most likely to contribute in 2014.