QB Rob Bolden — LSUA former starter, Bolden had fallen to third team under new coach Bill O'Brien. It was surprising that he did not transfer earlier, seeing that he has a redshirt available. But now he won't have to use that redshirt.
Career Stats: 50.3% completion rate, 14 INTs, 7 TDs, 27 rushing yards and 1 TD on 59 carries (two seasons)
WR Justin Brown — OklahomaAfter being a complementary receiver (primarily to Derek Moye) for most of his career, this was supposed to be Brown's chance to become a go-to guy. He'll try to make it happen at Oklahoma now. While effective in spots at PSU, Brown had only three career touchdowns and had a penchant for dropping balls in key situations. He leaves behind a very inexperienced unit, though. No returning player at Penn State caught more than five passes last season.
Career Stats: 73 catches for 1,047 yards and 3 TDs.
K/P Anthony Fera — TexasFera overcame off-field issues to become one of the best kickers and punters in the Big Ten last season. He was also strong on kickoffs. This is a significant loss. Expect junior Alex Butterworth to take over as punter and sophomore Sam Ficken to become the top place-kicker. Both have limited game experience.
Career Stats: 41.7 yards per punt, 2 blocks, 14 of 17 on FGs (two seasons)
LB Khairi Fortt — CalFortt missed most of spring practice with a knee injury and still was not cleared for action at the Lift For Life Challenge in mid-July. He projected as a backup linebacker, a role he has handled for most of his career. Fortt is a gifted athlete but program sources say his mistake-prone play prevented him from becoming a full-time starter. This hurts Penn State's LB depth. But if the projected starters stay healthy the Lions will be OK at 'backer this year. This will be more of an issue moving forward. Had he redshirted at PSU this season, Fortt would have had two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2013.
Career Stats: 50 tackles, 2.5 sacks (two seasons)
Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler) and then a key injury to then-starter Garry Gilliam in 2010. He never developed into an offensive threat, with just three catches each in 2010 and 2011. At 6-foot-4, 248 pounds, he is not an especially good blocker, either. On Penn State's post-spring depth chart, Haplea, the most experienced tight end on the roster, was listed as a second-teamer at the “F,” position, behind redshirt freshman Kyle Carter. Gilliam was the starter at the “Y” position.
Career Stats: 6 catches for 60 yards and one TD (two seasons)
OL Ryan Nowicki — IllinoisThe redshirt freshman from Arizona was mired on the third-team O-line during spring practice and did not play in the Blue-White Game. Had he stayed at Penn State, he was looking at at least one more season on the foreign team.
Career Stats: None
DL Jamil Pollard — RutgersThe on-again, off-again relationship with the lineman from New Jersey is off again — this time for good. He committed to Penn State in April 2011, but then de-committed when the Lions expressed concerns about his academic progress. He had a good fall academically and then re-committed to PSU in December — before O'Brien was hired. After one summer semester on campus, he is off to Rutgers. Pollard was likely looking at a redshirt in 2012.
Career Stats: 1 commit, 1 de-commit, 1 re-commit, 1 transfer
TB Silas Redd — USCThis is obviously a big loss, as Redd was the team's leading rusher last season. We address how the Lions will go about replacing him: Check it out.
Career Stats: 321 carries for 1,678 yards and 9 TDs, 13 receptions for 67 yards, five fumbles, three lost fumbles (two seasons)