UPDATED 12:35 a.m.
Versatile redshirt junior kicker Anthony Fera is expected to announce today that he's transferring to Texas, according to published reports late Wednesday night.
Fera, a Texas native, became the first PSU kicker in 36 years (since Chris Bahr in 1975) to handle the field goal, punting and kickoff duties for the Lions in 2011. He was 14-of-17 on field goals and averaged 42.0 yards per punt, earning first-team all-conference recognition from ESPN.com and second-team honors from the coaches and media.
Losing Fera would be a big blow to the Lions given his experience and dependability in all kicking aspects.
Sophomore Sam Ficken would be in line to be the place-kicker if Fera departs. Ficken made 1-of-2 field goals last season.
Junior Alex Butterworth likely would compete with Ficken for the punting job. Butterworth averaged 38.5 yards on eight punts last season.
From SMU to PSU
Talk about a unique perspective, there was only one player affected by the SMU death penalty in 1987 who went on to play at Penn State. Offensive lineman Matt McCartin discussed his unique experiences and perspectives with ESPNDallas and has turned down all other interview requests. You can see his Q&A from that lone interview in the Giger Counters blog (see link below).
Transfers so far
The following players have left the PSU football team to transfer to another school in the wake of the NCAA sanctions:
RB Silas Redd.......USC
LB Khairi Fortt.......Cal
QB Rob Bolden......LSU
TE Kevin Haplea.....Florida St.
S Tim Buckley........N.C. St.
Note: Incoming freshman DL Jamil Pollard is opting out of his scholarship and going to Rutgers.
Junior linebacker Khairi Fortt announced Wednesday that he's transferring to California, making him the second most important of the five transfers so far to leave Penn State.
Running back Silas Redd (USC) was by far the biggest blow to the Nittany Lions, and Fortt's departure will hurt the team's linebacker depth. Fortt played in all 13 games last season and recorded 33 tackles (10 solo), with six going for a loss and 2 1/2 sacks.
"Basically, I wanted to take a leap of faith and trust in God," Fortt told his hometown newspaper, the Stamford (Conn.) Advocate. "This is what's right for me and my family."
California was high on Fortt's list coming out of high school, but he chose Penn State. He played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2010 and recorded 17 tackles, and with the linebacking corps decimated by injuries, he started against Illinois and made 11 tackles.
Fortt visited Cal over the weekend and told his hometown newspaper he "connected with those guys very well."
"The environment there is fantastic, and I got a good vibe from going out there," he said.
He also noted he was promised "a fair opportunity to come out and compete to start."
Penn State players who transfer to other schools can play immediately without having to sit out a year. They also will not count against a school if it already is at its limit of 85 scholarships, as long as the school reduces its total next year equal to the amount of PSU transfers it takes on.
SUBHD: Bolden to LSU
Quarterback Rob Bolden wanted out at Penn State for a long time -- and not just after the 2010 season when Joe Paterno refused to grant him a release from his scholarship.
Bolden has transferred to LSU and was with the team for the start of preseason practice Wednesday. Tigers coach Les Miles said Bolden contacted his staff "two or three months ago" about a potential transfer.
Miles told the Louisiana media Wednesday, "We were a little awkward about it," but mentioned Bolden fits a specific need for his team.
LSU quarterbacks coach Steve Kragthorpe is familiar with Bolden, having recruited him in high school while the coach was at Louisville.
"Coming out of high school we felt like he was that guy who was a real quality thrower and obviously athletic," Miles said. "We feel that skill set is the same, or should be. We're hopeful he can accommodate the learning curve. He'll have a lot to learn."
Bolden had been granted a release from his PSU scholarship even before the NCAA sanctions came down, a source told the Mirror.
SUBHD: USC targeted Redd
Redd, who announced his transfer to USC on Tuesday, will arrive on campus Friday and be ready for the start of preseason practice Monday.
Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said Wednesday that he and his staff had targeted Redd as a potential transfer a few weeks before the NCAA sanctions were handed down.
Kiffin told ESPN's Colin Cowherd that he and his staff expected that "something was probably coming," and they studied the PSU roster for transfer candidates.
"There was only one guy that would really fit, that could come in and really help us," Kiffin said on Cowherd's radio show. "And that was Silas."
SUBHD: Pollard opts out
Incoming freshman defensive lineman Jamil Pollard, from Westville, N.J., has decided to give up his scholarship at PSU and instead will play at Rutgers. Pollard is rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com.
SUBHD: Lynch undecided
Incoming freshman running back Akeel Lynch, who possibly could see playing time as a true freshmen this season with Redd's departure, is now wavering and may give up his PSU scholarship to go to Iowa.
Lynch told Rivals.com that he will decide by Sunday whether he will play for the Lions or Hawkeyes. He is a three-star recruit by Rivals.
SUBHD: News and notes
LSU contacted PSU backup quarterback Paul Jones on Wednesday, according to Lions247.com. Jones ended any transfer speculation Wednesday when he tweeted, "I'm staying at Penn State, playing in front of the best fans in the nation!" ... Receiver Justin Brown has had contact with Oklahoma coaches, according to SoonerScoop.com. "Not that much contact," Brown told the website. "They've backed off." Asked if he's transferring to Oklahoma, Brown said, "Not as of now."