Penn State All-Big Ten linebacker Gerald Hodges has a message for teammates considering transferring out of the program.
If you're considering transferring, then obviously this isn't the place for you, Hodges said following a team workout Tuesday morning. Obviously you don't want to be here that bad. It just shows you the character of people.
Not to talk down on anyone, but it just is what it is.
A crowd estimated between 3,000 and 4,000 showed up to cheer on the Nittany Lions as they headed into their workout Tuesday. The grassroots event Rise & Rally was meant to show players that PSU fans are still behind them, even after strong NCAA sanctions were leveled against the program last week.
The sanctions include a four-year postseason ban, scholarship reductions, a fine and the ability of any player within the program to transfer to another FBS school immediately without having to sit out a year to be eligible.
The highest-profile Penn State player exploring the option is tailback Silas Redd, who visited USC over the weekend. He is the only projected starter openly checking out another school.
Redd was conspicuous by his absence at Tuesday's workout.
Quarterback Matt McGloin said the outpouring of support from the fans -- many of whom arrived before 6 a.m. -- was a head-turner for players who did participate in the workout.
The guys who are deciding to leave or don't know what they're doing, if this wasn't enough for them to stay, then I don't know what will be, he said.
Added Hodges: We're all one family, and that's what family does -- family stays together through the hard times and through the good times.
The throng of fans jammed the area between the Lasch Football Building, where the players dressed, and Holuba Hall, where the workout began. As the players walked from one building to the other, they were cheered wildly. It was so loud the players could not hear one another talk.
Fans were then allowed to watch the outdoor portion of the workout on the practice field between Lasch and Holuba. When it was complete, the players called the fans onto the field for a giant huddle.
Obviously, the things happening to us -- no bowl game, no Big Ten championship game -- that's tough to deal with, especially for the younger guys, McGloin said. At the same time, you experience running out onto that field (at Beaver Stadium), you experience this here today -- I don't understand how you can ever leave this place.