Penn State's now-former kicker Anthony Fera has transferred to Texas.
Fera, a junior, joins Silas Redd among the only undisputed Penn State starters to transfer to date. He shouldered all of Penn State's kicking duties last season -- from punts to kick-offs to field goals. He is responsible for 42 of Penn State's 251 total points last season -- over 16 percent.
He also averaged 42 yards per punt last season, pinning 18 of 64 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Fera hails from Cypress, Texas, so the move puts him closer to home and his mother, who was currently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
"The past few weeks have been extremely difficult as I've wrestled with the decision on my future," Fera said in a statement Thursday. "It's been tough to endure, not only for me, but for my entire immediate family back in Texas, and the Penn State football family I have grown so fond of over the past three-and-a-half years. It has been hard to separate the two as my family and I have been accepted and treated so wonderfully by everyone in the Penn State community. For that, we are all truly grateful."
Fera added that, as he promised late Penn State coach Joe Paterno, he will still obtain his degree from Penn State "with cooperation of the folks at Texas."
Now, sophomore Sam Ficken will likely do the place kicking for Penn State. He had only two field goal attempts last season, both from 40-49 yards. He made one.
Junior Alex Butterworth should assume punting duties. He booted the football eight times in 2011, averaging 38.5 yards.
Backup offensive tackle Ryan Nowicki will also depart Penn State in favor of Illinois. The redshirt freshman is the first Penn State player to transfer in conference.
Senior corner back Stephon Morris (12_darKnight), who has reaffirmed his commitment to Penn State, tweeted Thursday: "One thing u don't do is Jump from big ten school to another big ten school." [sic]
Including Fera and Nowicki, eight players have officially transferred from Penn State as of Thursday: tight end Kevin Haplea to Florida State, linebacker Khairi Fortt to California, quarterback Rob Bolden to LSU, defensive lineman Jamil Pollard to Rutgers, safety Tim Buckley to North Carolina State and Redd to USC.
The latest big name to consider a move is Justin Brown. The wide receiver is reported to be balancing Penn State with Oklahoma, but has not officially left the Nittany Lions yet. He, Redd and Fera would likely have been three of Penn State's top point earners this season.
Brown was Penn State's second-leading receiver behind Derek Moye in 2011, catching 35 passes for 517 yards and two touchdowns in 2011. He is currently slated to be the primary target in 2012. Next on the depth chart is Shawney Kersey, who caught just five passes in 2011.
Brown would be Penn State's first senior to depart.