- Mitch Sherman, ESPN Staff Writer
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REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- The father of Penn State-committed and No. 1-rated quarterback prospect Christian Hackenberg reiterated his confidence Sunday in the football program as the NCAA prepares to announce sanctions against the school.
At the Elite 11 finals here with his son, Erick Hackenberg said that he and Christian spoke with Penn State coaches last week.
First-year Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and recruiting coordinator Charles London remained optimistic, Erick Hackenberg said, in talking with he and Christian after PSU officials met with the NCAA in the past few days.
Christian Hackenberg, a 6-foot-4, 212-pound rising senior at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, pledged five months ago to sign with O'Brien and the Nittany Lions next February as part of their 2013 recruiting class.
"It's very important, in our eyes, just to see how it plays out," Erick Hackenberg said. "A lot of people would walk away from it. That's not us. You don't want to walk into the firing line, but this is example of a time where you don't base your decision off the immediate reaction."
Christian Hackenberg, rated No. 8 overall in the ESPN 150, threw for 2,146 yards as a junior last season. He has been selected to play in January in the Under Armour All-American Game.
Last week as the five-day Elite 11 finals opened, Christian Hackenberg said he would honor his commitment to Penn State unless the NCAA imposed the death penalty.
"At the end of the day," Christian Hackenberg said Wednesday, "if there's football at Penn State, I'm going to be there."
Still, on Sunday, the elder Hackenberg said they would take a more cautious approach.
"There are times where you know you need to cut bait instead of keep fishing," Erick Hackenberg said.
Penn State lost a pledge Saturday from defensive tackle Greg Webb (Erial, N.J./Timber Creek), the first recruit to defect from the Nittany Lions' class in the wake of former coach Jerry Sandusky's conviction on 45 counts of sexual abuse and the release of the Freeh report.