Penn State: The Obstacles Keep Coming, Starting WR Shawney Kersey Leaves Team

Barry Leonard@@barryleonardjrAnalyst IIISeptember 11, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 01: Shawney Kersey #81 of the Penn State Nittany Lions carries the ball after making a catch in front of Josh Kristoff #9 of the Ohio Bobcats during the second half of the Ohio Bobcats  at Beaver Stadium on September 1, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Pennstate247sports.com is reporting that starting wide receiver Shawney Kersey has left the team for personal reasons. Kersey, the team's leading returning receiver from 2011, has six catches for 44 yards in 2012.

Kersey's departure is the latest obstacle facing the 2012 Nittany Lions. NCAA sanctions have already banned the team from postseason play and have severely damaged recruiting with the loss of scholarships and reputation. Players have also been allowed to transfer to another school without penalty.

Starting running back Silas Redd, starting wide receiver Justin Brown and kicker Anthony Fera are just some of the key offensive players who transferred before the start of the season.

With Kersey gone, Bill O'Brien will have to search his bench for a replacement at the already thin wide receiver spot. Trevor Williams and Eugene Lewis, both true freshmen, could see expanded roles in the Penn State offense.

Allen Robinson, who leads the team with 186 receiving yards, will be expected to step up and become an even more frequent target for quarterback Matt McGloin. Tight end Kyle Carter, who is second on the team with 107 yards receiving, has started to become a favorite weapon for McGloin.

As if 2012 wasn't already tough enough for the Lions. Kersey was a veteran who brought much needed experience to a key position.

This just adds one more obstacle for Bill O'Brien and his team to contend with.