PSU Training Days: Overcoming adversity

Penn State: Overcoming Adversity (2:48)

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien talks about the challenges the Nittany Lions faced last season and how they can build off their momentum to take Penn State to the next level. (2:48)

When unprecedented NCAA sanctions were handed down last year, no one knew what was going to happen to Penn State. No one.

"Everyone thought we were down and out," said linebacker Mike Hull, who thought about transferring to Pitt. "They thought we were going to be like an SMU."

They were wrong.

Head coach Bill O'Brien guided the program through a season mired in adversity to finish with an 8-4 record. But big challenges remain. Penn State will have to endure three more seasons without a bowl game and five more seasons with scholarship restrictions.

ESPN takes a closer look at just how they can build from last year's momentum and take this program to the next level -- sanctions or not -- as part of "ESPN All Access: Penn State Training Days." The program will showcase behind-the-scenes access to on- and off-field play, team meetings and campus facilities. The segments will introduce players and coaches as they complete grueling preseason training.

We'll run a few clips, starting today, and it will culminate in a one-hour special at 7 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN. A five-part series consisting of 30-minute specials will also air on ESPNU starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday.