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.
OL Ryan Nowicki just told Illinois coaches he will be playing for them, leaving Penn State— Richard Obert (@azc_obert) August 2, 2012
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.