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Along with Mauti, Zordich, McGloin and Morris, players listed as first-teamers who attended Wednesday included wide receiver Allen Robinson; offensive linemen Donovan Smith, Matt Stankiewitch, John Urschel and Adam Gress; tight end Kyle Carter; defensive linemen DaQuan Jones and Pete Massaro; and cornerback Adrian Amos.

That group includes six seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and two redshirt freshmen.

On Wednesday night, incoming freshman quarterback Steven Bench from Georgia joined the committed, tweeting: “I have decided to stay at Penn State. I promise this team is special and will SHOCK THE WORLD over the next 4 years.”

Penn State spokesman Jeff Nelson said other players had committed to return but were unable to attend Wednesday because of classes or internships.

But some players will weigh whether to transfer, with other schools wooing them. The biggest name is running back Silas Redd, who rushed for 1,241 yards as a sophomore last season. Redd has yet to reveal his plans.

Illinois spokesman Kent Brown confirmed that a group of assistant coaches traveled to State College on Wednesday to talk to some Nittany Lions players. Brown said Illini athletic director Mike Thomas informed Penn State of the trip and that it came after Nittany Lions players contacted the Illini.

Cornerback Stephon Morris, who attended Wednesday’s news conference, tweeted: “We have chosen to stay at PSU & other opposing coaches are outside our apartment. Was that the intentions of the NCAA.” He added the hashtags “LeaveUsAlone” and “WeAre.”

There probably won’t be a parade of opposing coaches showing up on the Penn State campus over the next week or so. Most will take a slightly more subtle approach and players can take five official recruiting visits to other schools, just as they did when they were being recruited out of high school.

But it won’t be surprising to see some enemy colors around Happy Valley.

O’Brien told ESPN on Wednesday that while opposing coaches needed only to email or fax the compliance department to receive clearance to speak to players, he believed there was a protocol they should follow. O'Brien cited Central Florida’s George O’Leary, Syracuse’s Doug Marrone and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz as having reached out to him first.

Marrone and O'Brien are close friends from the time they spent working on O’Leary’s staff at Georgia Tech.

It’s been less than two weeks since an investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh concluded former coach Joe Paterno and other high-ranking university officials covered up abuse allegations involving Sandusky, who awaits sentencing on charges he abused 10 boys, some of them in team facilities.

In that time, Paterno’s bronze likeness has been removed from outside Beaver Stadium and the NCAA imposed harsh sanctions that include a $60 million fine and a four-year bowl ban. The NCAA also erased 14 years of Paterno’s victories, stripping him of his standing as the winningest coach in the history of big-time college football.

“No sanction, no politician is ever going to take away what we’ve got here,” Mauti said. “None of that’s ever going to tear us apart. Right now all we can do is put our heads down, and we’re just going to work. That’s all we can do. We’re going to fight for Penn State, fight for each other, because this is what Penn State’s about _ fighting through adversity.”

Soon after the players spoke, Penn State announced that no players would be made available for Big Ten media days, which are Thursday and Friday in Chicago.

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