Welcome to NittanyNation's mailbag! We asked you to tweet your questions this week, and we've selected three to answer in-depth -- starting with the question we received most.
Josh Moyer: Well, with just two scholarships remaining, at least one commit will likely come from that list. All of the big names Penn State's after -- Johnson, Dooley, Tyler Boyd, David Williams -- are long-shots ... but, then again, the Nittany Lions weren't four-star WR DaeSean Hamilton's first choice either. Until he visited.
Penn State's got a lot of options here, and it seems to be following the Bill Belichick line of reasoning with the NFL draft: Forget need for the most part; take the best player available. Ideally, the staff seems as if it would prefer a defensive back. After all, they've visited cornerback Myles Willis (Atlanta, Ga./Marist) twice in the last three weeks and Willis thinks an offer is on the way. Deondre Singleton also remains a viable option. But I couldn't see them turning down, say, a Boyd-Williams combo.
But, as you mentioned, visits at this stage are critical. They won over Hamilton and, apparently, they're pretty convincing on those visits. Johnson will not make an official, though, and he seems to be the biggest long-shot of all. Ohio State's the favorite there. Dooley's still considering a visit -- I'd put that at a coin flip; all depends on how he likes the new staff -- and, although the odds are for him to remain committed to Wisconsin, Penn State instantly becomes the favorite if he chooses to decommit.
Of the four long-shots, I think Penn State has the best chance with Williams or Dooley. It should definitely be an interesting January.
Dan Mealing (@SpiderCat79) writes: Seems like people picked PSU to finish below .500 this year. Didn't happen. Now they say next year should be easier for Bill O'Brien. You?
Josh Moyer: I can see the thinking in that because most of the team remains intact. But I'm sorry to say I disagree with it being easier next season. I predicted a 7-5 record in 2012 and -- at this point -- I think a 6-6 or 7-5 record in 2013 is more likely.
Why do I feel that way? Well, Matt McGloin was the most valuable player to this team. Yes, even more valuable than Michael Mauti. He threw 24 touchdowns to just five interceptions, several of which first deflected off his receivers. He was incredibly efficient, a great leader, and his shoes won't be easy to fill.
That's not to take away from Steven Bench or Tyler Ferguson. But McGloin was special, and he at least had quite a bit of playing experience as a fifth-year senior. Whoever starts next season will have to undergo some growing pains first, and the conference season isn't exactly a cakewalk: Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Penn State would have to win all of its other games and pick up one there to improve upon 2012. I think Bench has a lot of potential, but surpassing McGloin's 2012 season is no easy feat.
Andy Hunt (@lionspride95) writes: Any updates on players seeking transfer/interest from other schools?
Josh Moyer: Bill O'Brien told The Associated Press earlier this week that no one's left the team yet, so that's a good sign. But players are still allowed to transfer without penalty until preseason camp starts up in August.
Stephon Morris said, after the Ohio State loss, that he had to put an end to some teammates' chatter about leaving the team. He obviously wouldn't name who was talking about it -- and maybe that chatter went away after ending the season with three wins in the last four games -- but the fact is players have broached the topic at times this season.
Now, that doesn't mean you'll see a mass exodus or anything like that. I'm sure most, if not all, players who decide to transfer will consist of backups searching for more playing time. (Think the likes of Tim Buckley and Kevin Haplea.)
But, as of now, the team remains fully intact. I haven't yet been able to confirm any reports of specific players seeking a transfer.