Despite severe NCAA sanctions, O'Brien was able to keep a pair five-stars – quarterback Christian Hackenberg and tight end Adam Breneman – and also had pair of four-star signees in defensive end Garrett Sickels and linebacker Zayd Issah.
Solid three-star prospects Curtis Cothran (defensive end), Brandon Bell (middle linebacker), Brandon Mahon (offensive guard), DaeSean Hamilton (receiver) and Andrew Nelson (offensive tackle) are also part of the class.
Penn State's rating of 3.06 stars per player tied for No. 26 in the nation.
The Scarlet Knights finished first in the Big East and 31st overall, and did so by pulling players from six states – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia and Florida. In fact, despite losing coach Greg Schiano prior to last year's signing day, Rutgers remained heavily involved in Florida and landed four players from the Sunshine state.
It is a class heavy on projection with several phenomenal athletes – defensive end Kemoko Turay, safety T.J. Taylor and linebacker Myles Nash – who need to spend a year or so in the weight room, but they have enormous upside.
The Scarlet Knights didn't land any of the top eight players in the state, but did land four-stars Dorian Miller (offensive guard) and Nadir Barnwell (cornerback). Rutgers also dipped into Delaware and landed the No. 1 player in receiver Andre Patton and also flipped Syracuse commit Devan Carter nine days before signing day.
Boyd, who announced on signing day he was Pitt-bound after late dalliances with Tennessee and West Virginia, joins four-star offensive tackle Dorian Johnson and Clairton teammates Terrish Webb (receiver) and Titus Howard (safety) in the class.
Pittsburgh also landed 14 players from the Keystone state, and it was one solid prospect after another.
There was a heavy concentration on both sides in the trenches. Pittsburgh secured five defensive lineman and five offensive lineman as coach Paul Chryst sought to add depth with both units as the Panthers finished tied for 21st in the nation, and were third in the ACC.
Thirteen of Maryland's 22 commitments came from Maryland or Washington, D.C., and the Terps were masters of the flip. Tight end Andrew Isaacs flipped from Boston College and offensive tackle Moise Larose flipped from Rutgers.
Maryland also dominated Washington, D.C., landing four of the top five players, and each of them was from Edison Friendship. The standout of the group is four-star offensive tackle Derwin Gray.
Still, even with the strong finish, the Terps finished eighth in the ACC, and 49th overall. They are moving to the Big Ten, likely for the 2014 season, and their class would have ranked eighth in the conference.
The idea behind jucos is to have them on the two-deep immediately, especially if they only have two years to complete their two years of eligibility. And West Virginia targeted a number of positions, grabbing two junior college running backs, two outside linebackers, punter, defensive end, offensive lineman and two receivers as coach Dana Holgorsen looked to plug numerous holes on the roster.
The Mountaineers went all over the place for high school players in landing prospects from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, West Virginia, Maryland, Florida and Georgia.
West Virginia finished 26th nationally in the rankings, and fifth in the Big 12, but with the heavy push on junior college players, the Mountaineers will need to fill plenty of slots again in short period of time.
The big thing with Connecticut was keeping players home. Boyle is the third-rated player in the state, and the Huskies landed six of the top eight players from the Nutmeg state.
Also, the Huskies remained patient and closed with a flurry of commitments.
In the last two weeks leading up to signing day, UConn received eight commitments, beginning with defensive end Cole Ormsby flip from UMass.
The Huskies finished with the 64th ranked class, and were sixth in the Big East.
Syracuse also had a disappointing finish in New York in not landing Laray Smith or August Edwards, both of whom are running backs, but also had to withstand a coaching change and a seismic shift of the coaching staff.
The Orange went heavy with junior college players, signing six of them. And the only New York prep player Syracuse landed was one-time Old Dominion commit Chauncey Scissum of Rush-Henrietta (N.Y.) High.
The class finished No. 75 overall, and 13th among the 14 teams that will compete in the ACC in 2013.
There was then a delay after he announced for LSU and sent his national letter of intent in. In the end, though, Bower elected to become a Tiger, but much to the chagrin of Auburn fans (Bower was committed there since June), it was an LSU Tiger.
After not hearing much from the Bulldogs in the week leading up to signing day, he received his national letter of intent, signed it and is now heading to the SEC.
In fact, Georgia Tech told Mitchell if he made the trip, his scholarship would be pulled. But the Yellowjackets eased the harshness their original stance and recruited Mitchell in the final two days leading up to signing day, but he selected and signed with Arkansas.