Penn State Roster: Counting Recruits, 18 Players Have Now Left

Penn State's roster will likely continue to be picked through, with more than a dozen players already leaving. Related: Penn State Transfer Tracker || Much more coverage of the Penn State scandal here.

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Former 5-star QB recruit, Jones, leaves Penn State

Former five-star quarterback recruit Paul Jones has left the Penn St. Nittany Lions football program due to personal reasons, head coach Bill O'Brien announced Thursday. The news confirms a StateCollege.com report earlier in the day that stated the second-string tight end was leaving school because he was unhappy with his role. Jones did not attend Penn State's practice on Tuesday.

Jones (6'3, 258 pounds) becomes one of the many former Joe Paterno recruits to leave the school for personal reasons. Out of high school, the redshirt junior was recruited to compete for the Nittany Lions' starting quarterback position, which is currently held down by Matt McGloin. Under O'Brien, Jones was playing the "F" tight end spot where he caught just two passes.

Entering the season, Jones was a fan favorite to possible win the No. 1 quarterback job after sitting out the 2011 seasons because of academic reasons. However, Jones was surpassed on the depth chart by freshman Steven Bench and became frustrated with his role after being moved to tight end prior to the Virginia Cavaliers game on Sept. 8.

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Penn State Football: Kicker Matt Marcincin Next To Leave, According To Report

Penn State University kicker/punter Matt Marcincin decided to leave the team on Thursday due to personal reasons, according to Centredaily.com.

The redshirt freshman joined the team last year after scoring 156 points in his career at Blair Academy, a prep school in New Jersey. Marcincin is the second member of the team to leave this week as wide receiver Shawney Kersey also stated that he needed to step away due to personal reasons.

Marcincin's decision only continues a tumultuoues week for Penn State kickers as the team's starer Sam Ficken missed four field goals and had an extra point attempt blocked in the university's frustrating 17-16 loss at Virginia on Saturday. Marcincin did not have a chance to kick in the game.

According to head coach Bill O'Brien, leg strength is the only reason Ficken is the starter. He also stated that the kicker position is a job that can be won on a weekly basis.

The team plans to hold walk-on tryouts next week. Ficken is currently the only kicker listed on the team's depth chart this week.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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Shawney Kersey Leaving Penn State, According To Reports

Penn State wide receiver Shawney Kersey is the latest Nittany Lion to reportedly leave State College.

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Jared Fagnano Transfers To Penn State From Akron

In a reverse of the norm, the Penn St. Nittany Lions recently accepted a transfer student athlete in wide receiver Jared Fagnano. The news, reported by ESPN's NittanyNation reporter Josh Moyer, who Friday wrote the 5-foot-10, 182-pound wide out decided to forgo his preferred walk-on status with the Akron Zips to have a chance to play for the Nittany Lions.

"With all those guys leaving, it opened up spots and gave me an opportunity," said Jared Fagnano, who lives in Williamsport, Pa. "And I've just always wanted to play football there."

So far, nine players have decided to transfer from the Penn State football program, which in July was sanctioned by the NCAA with a four-year postseason ban and reduced scholarships.

According to Moyer, Fagnano was asked to be released from Akron after he was not invited to preseason camp and had a lengthy discussion with his family, including his brother Jake Fagnano, a Penn State safety.

"He wanted to play for Penn State initially back with his high school and recruiting, but things didn't seem like they were going that way for him," his father, Philip, said. "And those sanctions opened up some opportunities."

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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Penn State Loses 10th Player From 2012 Roster, 15th Overall

Penn State has lost redshirt sophomore tight end Dakota Royer, who's leaving the team but continuing his education at the school. The list of losses now stands at 10 players off the roster, plus five decommitted recruits.

Royer is the first of the departed players to stick around PSU. His exit could have less to do with the NCAA's sanctions and more to do with what he calls "circumstances beyond my control," but that's his business. He plans to graduate in May.

His departure won't be crushing for the Nittany Lions' on-field chances, but he did make for another young player that could've contributed on special teams (his experience is primarily on defense, actually) and may have been able to play on offense soon. With backup tight end Kevin Haplea leaving for Florida State, Royer was technically in competition for the second spot on the F tight end chart behind Kyle Carter. That job could now go to senior Brian Irvin.

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2012 Penn State Football: The Roster Damage Wrought By Departures

Now that sanctions-related departures from Penn State have likely slowed down for a while, it is probably about time to look at what's left. Let's take stock of the damage inflicted both on the 2012 and 2013 PSU squads.

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Penn State Loses Top Recruit Dorian Johnson

Dorian Johnson, a four-star offensive tackle out of Belle Vernon High (Penn.), informed Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien on Tuesday that he's decided to reopen his recruitment, reports Jeremy Sellew of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Johnson, who affirmed his commitment last month through his high school coach, told the paper that he's now interested in Pittsburgh, Ohio State and Virginia Tech. His decision is a tough blow for the Nittany Lions, who have now lost five members of their Class of 2013 as well as nine transfers since the NCAA announced sanctions against the program.

Will Fuller, a three-star wide receiver from Philadelphia, decommitted from PSU in favor of Notre Dame last weekend, while Zach Bradshaw, a three-star outside linebacker recruit from Maryland, reopened his recruitment earlier Tuesday. But Johnson's decision hurts the most, as he was the team's third-highest rated recruit. Penn State's Class of 2013 now stands at just nine players.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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Penn State Football Recruiting: Zach Bradshaw Decommits

Zach Bradshaw, an outside linebacker recruit, decommitted from Penn State Tuesday according to multiple reports.

Bradshaw is the third player to decommit from the Nittany Lions since massive NCAA sanctions were announced, and the fourth since the release of the Freeh Report. PSU has lost four total recruits recently in addition to nine transfers.

Out of Damascus (Md.) High School, Bradshaw is a three-star recruit. He also holds offers from Virginia, Michigan State and Northwestern, among others. And he apparently has ties to Michigan State.


Don't miss -- Penn State Football Recruiting: Impact Of NCAA Sanctions

Penn State's class now sits at 10 members. Despite the losses, it still includes commitments from top QB Christian Hackenberg, excellent tight end Adam Breneman and offensive tackle Dorian Johnson.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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Penn State Football: Justin Brown Could Make Oklahoma Decision Soon

Penn State's already lost eight players and two committed recruits to other schools due to the NCAA's heavy sanctions, and could lose another at some point this weekend. Top returning receiver Justin Brown met with PSU coach Bill O'Brien twice in the past two days while trying to decide whether to transfer to Oklahoma, and will have to make up his mind very soon as to whether he's staying or going:

Brown said he doesn't have a timetable for a decision, but in all likelihood, he'll make a decision sooner rather than later; Oklahoma begins fall practices Friday morning, and Penn State starts Monday. Current Penn State players were given the option to transfer to another Football Bowl Subdivision school without having to sit out the usual one year.

"I'm not close to a decision," Brown said in a brief telephone interview.

Earlier in the week, Brown described the OU contact as light, but obviously urgency is ramping up here.

Brown, a senior and former four-star recruit, stands 6'3 and 209 pounds, ranking second on PSU's receiving list last year with 35 catches for 517 yards. He would solve the experience problem for Oklahoma, whose receiving corps has been rocked by all manner of affliction, having played in 36 career games.

He's a player Penn State especially can't afford to lose, as its next best returning receiver is fullback Michael Zordich.

For more on OU football, visit Oklahoma blog Crimson And Cream Machine.

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Penn State Transfers: Ryan Nowicki To Illinois After All

Though we won't have to add his name to the Penn State transfer tracker, we do now know backup offensive tackle Ryan Nowicki's destination. The redshirt freshman had narrowed his list down to Arizona State, Illinois and a few others after reportedly leaning the Illini's way early on, and it looks like Tim Beckman's aggressive recruitment of PSU's roster has indeed paid off.

A three-star recruit from Arizona, Nowicki was pursued by a number of schools from around the country coming out of Glendale's Cactus High school. Following his commitment to Penn State, he was quoted as calling Happy Valley "an amazing place."

His exit means eight former Penn State players now have new schools. He wasn't in line for playing time this year, so the damage done by his departure will come if he's able to contribute for Illinois against a Big Ten foe and if his loss hurts PSU's depth in the coming years.

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Texas Football: Anthony Fera Leaving Penn State, According To Report

Texas has reportedly walked away from the great Penn State fire sale with a little something for itself, nabbing kicker and punter Anthony Fera. Last year, he was both a candidate for the Ray Guy and a semifinalist for the Lou Groza last year. He was excellent on field goals, ranking No. 17 in the country in accuracy among qualified kickers, and a solid punter, placing No. 37 in average yardage.

Fera makes for the eighth roster player to leave PSU since the NCAA's sanctions hit, and the second starter. Since he started at two positions last year, his loss might actually be the heaviest yet.

For Texas, here's what Fera could mean, via Burnt Orange Nation:

After being spoiled for years, with kickers hitting all eight game-winning kicks in the Mack Brown era, missing one (and, therefore, missing out on a conference championship or BCS bid) could end up going down as one of the lowest moments of the head coach's tenure in Austin.

That's not a risk that Brown should be willing to take, especially after saying that he didn't have any ethical concerns about taking a Penn State player.

Adding Fera could well mark the end at Texas for a guy like Will Russ, especially since having three scholarship kickers on the roster for the next two seasons seems like overkill. But if that's the price to pay for stability at a crucial, if sometimes overlooked position, then that's simply the price to pay.

For more on Horns football, visit Texas blogs Burnt Orange Nation and Barking Carnival, plus SB Nation Dallas.

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Rob Bolden Leaving Penn State For LSU, According To Reports

Penn State backup and once-starter quarterback Rob Bolden is transferring to LSU, according to multiple outlets, making for a high profile departure in the wake of the NCAA's decree that Nittany Lions players can leave without penalty. He won't compete for immediate playing time at LSU, as Zach Mettenberger is the clear starter there, but he does supply some experience to a depth chart spot that otherwise lacks it.

The former four-star recruit has played in 20 games, starting several, but saw his completion percentage plummet from 58 as a freshman to 39.3 last year. He's thrown 14 interceptions to only nine touchdowns, but a change of scenery and schemes could serve him well.

Assuming Bolden redshirts (since he's in the same class as LSU's starter), serious playing time could come in two years, when Mettenberger's gone. No other current LSU quarterback has significant experience of any kind, and none but Bolden will be an upperclassman. But for the time being, he's an experienced backup who's now free of lingering bad vibes, both on the field and off.

Then again, maybe he'll be used as more of a situational weapon or even a non-quarterback. He certainly has the physique (6'4, 210 pounds, 4.6ish 40-yard dash) to play receiver.

For PSU, the depth chart ramifications are not disastrous. Bill O'Brien has backed senior Matt McGloin as the starter, and the fans have a thing for sophomore backup Paul Jones. No. 3 on the depth chart Shane McGregor has little experience, but is a senior.

As you can see, Penn State site Black Shoe Diaries isn't too torn up about it:

Some of you will cheer. Some will roll your eyes at those who cheer. Some will shrug. But no matter what, it was a long and tumultuous ride for the kid from Michigan. He started as a true freshman, played well until getting hurt, but couldn't ever recover. Bolden wanted to leave after the 2010 season, but wasn't given his release. Now, a year and a half later, he may finally be able to get that fresh start he so desperately needs.

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Penn State Roster: Jamil Pollard Chooses Rutgers Instead

Jamil Pollard and the Penn State Nittany Lions have had an on-again, off-again relationship over the past couple of recruiting seasons. It's officially off now, however, as the incoming freshman defensive lineman has decided to commit to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Pollard originally committed to Penn State as a junior, but the university pulled his scholarship offer after his grades failed to meet their standards. He was able to get his grades up, however, and signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Nittany Lions next season this past February.

The recent sanctions against Penn State caused Pollard to change his mind, though, as his high school coach told the New Jersey Star-Ledger that his standout lineman is now headed to Rutgers.

"He's going to go to Rutgers," said Pollard's high school coach at West Deptford, Clyde Folsom. "He's leaving Penn State and going to Rutgers."

"We spoke last week when the penalties became public at Penn State," said Folsom. "He wasn't sure what he wanted to do, he wasn't in the right state of mind at the time to really make a decision. But over a 48-hour period there were six or seven Division I schools that were interested in bringing him in on scholarship."

Pollard isn't the first Penn State player to leave and likely won't be the last as the Nittany Lions continue to deal with the fallout of the school's recent scandal.

For more on Penn State's ongoing transfer situation, check out this Storystream. For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, and SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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Penn State Loses TE Kevin Haplea To Florida State, According To Reports

The transfer count for Penn State football continues to grow, as the Nittany Lions have lost another veteran player in tight end Kevin Haplea, according to a report by Rich Scarella of The Reading Eagle.

Kevin Haplea, the most experienced tight end on the Penn State roster, has decided to transfer, a source told the Reading Eagle.

Haplea visited Florida State last week, but it was unclear to where he will transfer.

Haplea is officially the fourth Penn State player to transfer since the NCAA granted a waiver for the Penn State players to transfer without penalty or having to sit out for a season in order to be eligible.

Haplea caught six passes for 60 yards and one touchdown for Penn State in his career, but the 6-foot-4, 248-pound junior tight end's destination is not known at this time.

Update: Several outlets, including SB Nation's Tomahawk Nation, have confirmed that Haplea will in fact transfer to Florida State.

For more on Penn State's ongoing transfer situation, check out this Storystream. For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, and SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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Penn State Transfer Rob Bolden Expected At LSU Practice Wednesday, According To Report

While some more Penn State transfers begin to trickle out, former Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden is expected to step right into practice at his new school with the LSU football team on Wednesday, according to a report by Jim Kleinpeter of the The Times Picayune.

Former Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden is expected to report for the start of fall practice with the rest of the LSU team on Wednesday, a source close to the situation said Tuesday. The source said Bolden told LSU coaches he is coming.

Bolden is eligible to play immediately for Penn State, due to the waiver awarded by the NCAA after laying down their punishment on Penn State for the Sandusky scandal.

Bolden will join junior Zach Mettenberger and redshirt freshmen Stephen Rivers and Jerrard Randall on the Tiger roster and is expected to serve as Mettenberger's back-up out of the gate.

For more on Penn State's ongoing transfer situation, check out this Storystream. For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, and SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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Silas Redd Transferring From Penn State To USC

Penn State running back Silas Redd, the most publicly sought-after player on the Nittany Lions roster, was the only player slated to make Big Ten Media Days who was then replaced on the schedule. That's because he's transferring to USC, announcing the move to reporters via text message after heavy rumors of him considering a transfer and a pretty public courting by Lane Kiffin at Pac-12 Media Days.

In 2011, Redd rushed for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns, establishing himself as the closest thing PSU had to a national star player. While Redd's on-field production will certainly be missed in State College, his exit could prove even more damaging from a morale and perception standpoint.

For USC, this means freshman Nelson Agholor won't have to fill in at running back, freeing the speedster to focus on running routes. After the exits of running backs Amir Carlisle and Dillon Baxter, and George Farmer's move outside to receiver, USC's primary offensive question (besides left tackle) has now been answered, and the Trojans' national title odds are going to look just a little more enticing for many. Redd fortifies a position that otherwise featured a lot of small, fast guys, but few experienced rock-toters.

For Penn State, top tailback duties now fall to Bill Belton, a sophomore who had 13 carries last year and has already affirmed his commitment to PSU.

The peak irony here: USC's just now bowl-eligible again, thanks to undergoing NCAA sanctions of their own, and has seen multiple players leave over the last two years due to their own troubles. The Trojans have even been considered a potential model for PSU, though Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien has a much more difficult task ahead of him than Kiffin ever did. If USC wins a Pac-12 title partially on the strength of a player it got due to NCAA penalties, the world may explode.

Update: USC athletic director Pat Haden officially confirmed the news in a statement:

"We welcome Silas Redd to the Trojan Family. He is an outstanding student and athlete. When the NCAA presented the option to transfer, Silas and his family put a lot of thought and research into making this decision.

"At USC, we've seen both sides of this issue, having lost a number of players to transfer due to our NCAA sanctions in 2010. But Lane Kiffin and his coaches would not be doing their job if they did not try to improve our team every single day. There is a specific need here for a player like Silas Redd, so Lane and our coaches recruited him within the guidelines set up in this instance by the NCAA."

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Penn State Loses First Transfer, Tim Buckley Headed To NC State

The Penn State Nittany Lions are probably going to lose a number of star players due to their NCAA sanctions and the free reign that their players have to transfer. The likes of Rob Bolden and Silas Redd are expected to depart, but they've yet to decide on their futures. The first Penn State transfer isn't a huge name, but is likely the beginning of an exodus from the football program.

The man with the distinction of leaving Penn State first is Tim Buckley, a redshirt freshman safety. Buckley, who hails from North Carolina, has decided to move closer to home and transfer to N.C. State. He was the No. 2 free safety on Penn State's depth chart heading into the season and would have had a very good shot at playing time if he stuck around. He may not play immediately for the Wolfpack, but Tom O'Brien will be happy to lock up a solid player with four years of eligibility remaining.

For more on Buckley and the Wolfpack, head over to Backing the Pack. For more on Penn State's ongoing transfer situation, check out this Storystream. For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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Penn State QB Rob Bolden Granted Release From Scholarship, Visits LSU

Rob Bolden is no longer under scholarship to play football for Penn State, according to reports, and has already begun the process of choosing his next destination by reportedly taking an official visit to LSU. StateCollege.com's Rob Musselman tweeted the news on Bolden's status with Penn State:

Bolden was by no means an important piece of the puzzle at Penn State: The former starter was No. 3 on the depth chart after a sophomore season that saw him complete less than 40 percent of his passes and toss two touchdowns to seven picks, and Matt McGloin is the presumptive starter. However, Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson graduated last season for LSU, leaving first-year starter Zach Mettenberger the likely option at quarterback with only redshirt freshmen behind him. Bolden might not be the answer at quarterback for the Tigers, but if he were to choose LSU, he would provide valuable depth immediately for a team that won't need to score many points to be competitive.

For more on Penn State's ongoing transfer situation, check out this Storystream. For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly. And for the latest on the Tigers, SB Nation has LSU blog And The Valley Shook.

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Penn State Football Keeping Kyle Baublitz, Ben Kline Despite Transfer Rumors

After being recruited to leave Penn State by at least five schools each, linebacker Ben Kline and defensive tackle Kyle Baublitz have elected to stay in State College. That makes for a reiteration by Baublitz, who'd already indicated he'd stay even before drawing so much interest.

Kline, a redshirt freshman and former three-star recruit from Pennsylvania, was targeted by Arizona, Arizona State, Purdue and others. Baublitz, a converted defensive end and tight end, heard from West Virginia, Baylor and more.

That makes for almost three dozen current players who've declared they'll stick around despite the NCAA's sanctions and the lingering scandal. A few big names and important contributors remain on the fence, and the long-term concern is still going to be youth and depth. But as long as players on the two-deep -- like Baublitz and Kline -- stick around, the 2012 season shouldn't be the kind of disaster we'd initially feared.

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Advice For Penn State's Bill O'Brien: Quit

A new "Bomani & Jones" to lend Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien some moral support, and perhaps more importantly, some advice: Quit that job. Fast.

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Big Ten Media Days: Tim Beckman In The Penn State Import Business

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Silas Redd Misses Big Ten Media Days To Meet With USC, According To Report

Whether anybody likes it or not, the story at Big Ten Media Days on Thursday and Friday in Chicago is going to be Penn State. I mean, Penn State was a major story at Pac-12 Media Days (and the SEC's and ACC's and so on), with USC's Lane Kiffin pretty openly pitching for PSU back Silas Redd to head west, or at least as openly as rules allow. Speaking of Redd:

And here's one explanation:

That's after the latest reports had Redd giving USC's offer serious thought.

On Wednesday, Redd and Hill missed a gathering of a couple dozen Nittany Lions who swore their faithfulness to Happy Vally, but we chalked it up to Media Days travel. (Mauti was one of the two spokesmen for the group, so we know he's solid on PSU.)

Now, with only Redd missing out, the elephant remains squarely in the room.

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Penn State's Silas Redd 'Seriously Considering' Transfer To USC, According To Report

The highest-profile player the Penn St. Nittany Lions have entering the 2012 season may yet become the highest-profile transfer of the college football offseason. ESPN's Joe Schad and Don Van Natta (but mostly Schad, likely) report that running back Silas Redd is "seriously considering" a transfer to the USC Trojans for the 2012 season.

Redd ran for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011, and averaged just more than five yards per carry. If he transfers, he would give USC a second 1,000-yard rusher in its backfield (Curtis McNeal just crested the mark in 2011 for the Trojans) and give himself a chance of playing not only for a Pac-12 conference championship and a BCS bowl berth, but also a very good shot at winning a national title.

Redd's decision whether to stay or go could come as soon as Monday. If he leaves, Penn State would return no rushers who tallied more than 250 yards on the ground in 2011.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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Penn State Players Won't Attend Big Ten Media Days After All

Why wasn't star Penn State running back Silas Redd in that group of Nittany Lions who pledged their commitment to the program this morning? Well, he was en route to Big Ten Media Days in Chicago, of course. But now plans have changed, as Penn State's contingent won't include any of the three players who were expected to go to Chicago.

Redd was a topic at Pac-12 Media Days, where USC coach Lane Kiffin all but openly begged for Redd to head to L.A.

Let speculation now run wild. Are all three of these players looking to leave? Is Bill O'Brien just protecting them from endless questions about non-football stuff? Is PSU worried about them coming into contact with rival coaches? Does Jordan Hill not speak English? These are all things that could be speculated by anyone looking to speculate.

(It's probably mainly the questions one.)

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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2 Dozen Penn State Football Players Declare They're Staying

With schools from all around the country and every major conference closing in, a group of "about 30" Penn State players gathered Wednesday morning to affirm their desire to remain in State College and play for the Nittany Lions. That's despite the NCAA's ruling that players can escape sanctions by freely transferring to another school, thereby avoiding the typical one-year penalty for switching teams. So far, only one player, backup Ryan Nowicki, has reportedly left.

Michael Zordich and Michael Mauti led the proceedings, joined by others who'd already declared themselves true blue and white. The crowd didn't include Silas Redd, who reportedly has an open invitation to USC. He could be busy making his way to Big Ten Media Days, which begin Thursday in Chicago, though.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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Ryan Nowicki Reportedly Transferring From Penn State, Likely To Illinois

Just hours after Penn State lost their first committed recruit from the class of 2013 to the Michigan Wolverines, the team has now also reportedly lost their first roster player.

Tuesday night it was reported that redshirt freshman right tackle Ryan Nowicki will transfer from Penn State University and likely enroll at the University of Illinois.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Ross Douglas, who was expected to play cornerback for the Nittany Lions next fall before he decommitted from the school, committed to Michigan.

That players would leave Penn State's football program in the wake of NCAA's harsh penalties against the school is no surprise, but that the first two players to actually do that would potentially join rival Big Ten schools has to be a bit more frustrating for PSU fans.

A three-star recruit from Arizona, Nowicki was pursued by a number of schools from around the country coming out of Glendale's Cactus High school.

Following his commitment to Penn State, he was quoted as calling Happy Valley, Pennsylvania "an amazing place".

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit SB Nation's Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire

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Adam Breneman Affirms Penn State Football Commitment

So far, roster news for the Penn St. Nittany Lions has been better than expected, with top freshman Eugene Lewis saying he plans to stay and no losses after one full day of NCAA transfer sanctions. Now perhaps the best possible news PSU could get: tight end Adam Breneman, the top recruit in new head coach Bill O'Brien's 2013 class, says he remains committed.

Besides being rated as the nation's best tight end recruit, Breneman has been considered the most important player in the class. His departure would put the entire collection into jeopardy.

With Silas Redd also on track to represent Penn State at Big Ten Media Days and no current players publicly expressing the desire to leave, the worst fears for Penn State's short-term football potential might not come true.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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Eugene Lewis Plans To Stay At Penn State Instead Of Transferring

Finally, a good sign for Penn State football. Incoming four-star wide receiver Eugene Lewis plans to take the field for the Nittany Lions despite a free pass from the NCAA to play elsewhere, according to his father:

"He`s doing the best that he can, he`s little discouraged however he understands the commitment he made and he still wants to be at Penn State," said Reverend Eugene Lewis, Sr.

As for the schools showing interest? From the CitizensVoice.com report:

Wyoming Valley West coach Pat Keating said he was fielding calls on the behalf of Lewis from North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Connecticut, Marshall, Massachusettes and Oregon.

UMass! UMass is out here looking to take players from Penn State. Did you ever think you'd see the day? You sure didn't.

Except for Virginia Tech and Oregon, none of those schools really offer serious championship potential, so it could be that Lewis remains fully locked in after looking at the list of schools on the phone. It remains to be seen whether Lewis sticks around if more come calling, but his staying with PSU would go a long way to convincing others to also stick around.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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The Lost Decade: Penn State Football's Next 10 Seasons

The NCAA's dismantling of Penn State football is going to affect the program for years. It's gonna get bleak, and it's gonna stay that way for a long time.

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Penn State Football Recruiting: Impact Of NCAA Sanctions

The NCAA hit Penn State harder than the death penalty, and Nittany Lions recruiting is unlikely to recover for at least a decade.

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Penn State Football Roster Likely Gutted By Transfers After NCAA Sanctions

When SMU was hit with the death penalty in the '80s, it was actually only a one-year thing. The Mustangs missed two years of football because they couldn't field enough players the second year due to other punishments. We might see something similar happen to Penn State after the NCAA's heavy, heavy penalties were announced Monday morning.

The NCAA says it's considering allowing schools to tack PSU transfers on top of their own current scholarship counts without any penalty, meaning other teams could essentially get players who don't count against the "salary cap," so to speak. Meaning even Alabama could take on Penn State players.

If that happens, the Nittany Lions' roster could be completely picked apart to such a degree that competition could be pointless for the time being. And each player that leaves Penn State only increases the chances of more leaving.

Even before that stipulation was announced as under consideration, coaches across the nation were eying Penn State's roster for potential acquisitions. It might be open season now.

More from the NCAA's release on player transfers:

  • Football student-athletes who transfer will not have to sit out a year of competition. Any incoming or currently enrolled football student-athlete will be immediately eligible upon transfer or initial enrollment at an NCAA institution, provided they are admitted and otherwise eligible per NCAA regulations.
  • Penn State will release any incoming student-athletes from the National Letter of Intent.
  • Permission-to-contact rules will be suspended. Penn State cannot restrict in any way a student-athlete from pursuing a possible transfer. Student-athletes must simply inform Penn State of their interest in discussing transfer options with other schools. Interested schools also must inform Penn State of their intention to open discussions with the student-athlete.
  • Official and unofficial visit rules will be loosened. Any incoming or currently enrolled football student-athletes interested in taking an official or unofficial visit will be permitted to do so during the 2012-13 academic year, no matter how many visits they took during their recruitment. Institutions seeking to provide an official visit to a student who already visited the school as many times as NCAA legislation allows can seek relief from the NCAA on a case-by-case basis.
  • Additionally, the NCAA is considering waiving scholarship limits for programs to which these football student-athletes transfer, provided they reduce proportionately in the next year. For example, the limit is 25 new scholarships per year to a total of 85 scholarships. If the limits are waived in 2012-13 to accommodate one Penn State student-athlete who wishes to transfer to a particular school already at the limits, in 2013-14 the school will be limited to 24 new scholarships and 84 total scholarships.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Penn State's heavy sanctions announced

The NCAA didn't have to get involved in the Jerry Sandusky coverup tragedy, but it chose to do so anyway. At a 9 a.m. ET press conference, NCAA president Mark Emmert announced his punishments against Penn State -- his punishments, because he used the NCAA's constitution to subvert the NCAA's standard governing process in order to punish Penn State with greater haste.

There's no death penalty, meaning the Nittany Lions will still get to play football this year and onward. But, as reported, the rest of the penalties are so dire that a year off the gridiron might actually be less damaging for PSU's coaches, players, staff, and fans.

Here's the rundown:

  • Four-year postseason ban
  • $60 million fine, to go to an endowment for children's charities
  • 10 incoming scholarships lost first year, 20 scholarship deduction for four years (more or less an entire roster worth of scholarships)
  • Vacation of all wins from 1998 through 2011 (meaning Joe Paterno now ranks seventh among all D1 coaches in wins)
  • Five years probation
  • Penn State players can transfer immediately without penalty

Before the list of sanctions, NCAA executive committee chair Edward Ray called Penn State's coverup "reckless" and defended the NCAA's involvement in the scandal.

"Not only does the NCAA have the authority, we have the responsibility," Ray said.

Penn State isn't out of the woods yet -- not even its football program has its full list of damage at hand. The Big Ten can still choose to punish Penn State in just about any way conceivable, from witholding conference revenue to forbidding trips to the Big Ten Championship Game and so on. Indeed, the Big Ten will announce something one way or the other Monday as well.

The school could choose also to limit its own football program in addition to what's being imposed.

And this is all outside of what's going to be levied against the university itself by the Department of Education and perhaps other government agencies, which could make the worst the NCAA can do look like nothing by comparison.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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