Camp starts today, and it will be time to move forward. For the last time, let’s take a look at the players who left, and a look at their importance.
OT Ryan Nowicki (Illinois)
Nowicki did not appear on the post-spring depth chart, making him a third string tackle, at best. With RS Freshman Donovan Smith likely holding down the left tackle spot for the next 3-4 years and the 2013 class currently consisting of Dorian Johnson and Andrew Nelson, the tackle position will go on without Ryan.
QB Rob Bolden (LSU)
Rob was buried on the depth chart and was behind PJ Jones, who has more eligibility than he does. With accurate freshman Steven Bench now on the roster and Christian Hackenberg coming in next year, it’s not likely that Bolden would have seen another meaningful snap at Penn State.
S Tim Buckley (NC State)
Buckley was a walk-on from North Carolina, who came to Penn State partially because his father was a PSU grad. Despite not being offered a scholarship out of high school, Buckley was likely to see some playing time this season in an already-thin defensive backfield.
TE Kevin Haplea (Florida State)
Kevin saw a lot of action last year, though sometimes it seemed that the attention he gained was for blown plays and penalties. With Garry Gilliam back from injury and freshman Jesse James catching everyone’s attention in the spring, Haplea became expendable, and he knew it. There are few reasons for a tight end to transfer out of a Bill O’Brien offense. One of them would be the absence of playing time.
WR Justin Brown (Oklahoma)
Brown arrived at Penn State with high expectations but never seemed to reach his potential. Inconsistency and dropped balls played a part in this, along with average quarterback play. Penn State threw for 29 touchdowns over the last two seasons but Brown managed to haul in only three during that time. In contrast, QB-turned WR-turned H-back/TE managed to grab 5 touchdowns in his senior campaign of 2010. Brown was expected to be the incumbent number one receiver at Penn State this year, but there a handful of guys on the roster capable of taking that spot.