Driven O'Brien keeps focus on football at PSU

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Amid all the bickering at Penn State over the delicate issues related to football, the football program itself is often stuck in the middle.

Coach Bill O'Brien would like all sides -- no matter their positions -- to keep that in mind before the next exchange of verbal volleys.

It's not the ideal backdrop in the middle of spring practice, and with coaches trying to woo recruits amid the NCAA sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Still, O'Brien said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press that 61 prospects have taken unofficial visits since the end of the 2012 season.

He says potential recruits get a sense of community in the football program, and he would love for them to feel it outside the program, too.