Penn State Football: Departure of WR Shawney Kersey Deflates Already Poor Start

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 12, 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

As if Penn State's football program hasn't taken enough of a hit in the last calendar year, they lost one of their key players for this season's rebuilding process Tuesday.

According to a report by Jeff Rice of Penn State's 247Sports site, wide receiver Shawney Kersey has left the Nittany Lions team for personal reasons and does not plan to return.

Kersey was the leading returning receiver from Penn State's 2011 season.

Penn State initially looked like their 2012 season could bring promise until the NCAA came down with swift punishments ranging from a four-year bowl ban to loss of scholarships and the ability for any of its players to transfer immediately without having to sit out a year.

The last rule would ultimately doom Penn State's season, as star running back Silas Redd led the pack of Nittany Lions set to bolt across the country to whatever team convinced them well enough. Among the others was receiver Justin Brown and kicker Anthony Fera. 

They certainly could've used Fera's services in their second game of the season, when current Nittany Lions kicker Sam Ficken missed four out of five field goals. One was a potential game-winner.

Back to the point, Penn State hasn't exactly had an ideal start to this tell-all season, and it'll take a huge hit when they're forced to replace Kersey. Sitting behind Kersey on the bench were Trevor Williams and Eugene Lewis. 

The problem is that Williams and Lewis are both true freshmen and may not be ready for Big Ten football just yet. 

This is just another obstacle that Penn State fans didn't need, and it could ultimately further alter how many games the Nittany Lions win—or don't win. 

Suddenly, this Penn State offense is a far cry from what we thought it would be just before the season started. 


Steven Cook is a TNT breaking news writer and Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Tweet at him.