Penn State lost another scholarship player on Wednesday. This time there is no imminent transfer to follow.
Tight end Dakota Royer was not on the Nittany Lions' updated preseason camp roster which was released Wednesday. The sophomore from Lancaster issued a statement to multiple outlets saying that he has left the team but will continue to attend Penn State to finish his degree.
"Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, it is with great regret that I feel it necessary to remove myself from the team," Royer said. "I want to thank my teammates for their support and camaraderie, as well as coach O'Brien and his staff for the opportunity.
"I will exercise my rights from the NCAA and continue my education at Penn State, and plan to graduate in May. My best wishes go out to the team for a very successful football season."
Royer becomes the 10th departure – the ninth on scholarship – from the team since NCAA sanctions were announced last month, though there is no indication the penalties played a role in his decision.
A former four-star recruit out of Manheim Central High School, Royer got off to a rocky start in college before redshirting in his first year. Initially a linebacker, Royer had moved to tight end in Bill O'Brien's new offense. He came out of the spring as the third-stringer at the "F" tight end spot – a hybrid position best suited for the most athletic big men.
Royer opened camp with the Lions and participated in drills Monday morning in the team's first practice.
He is the second tight end to leave the team, following junior Kevin Haplea, who has since transferred to Florida State. Even with Haplea's departure, however, Royer was still projected to be a reserve at the position.
Garry Gilliam and Kyle Carter are in line for the most time at tight end. They are joined by true freshmen Jesse James and Brent Wilkerson as well as walk-ons Brian Irvin and Matt Lehman.
Fifteen scholarship players have either left for various reasons or been dismissed from the team since O'Brien was hired in January.
O'Brien and the Lions will discuss the season today at Penn State's media day.
With the attrition on the roster, Penn State's true freshmen will get a long look in preseason camp to see if they can contribute right away.
Wyoming Valley West and Meyers product Eugene Lewis falls into that group, especially after top receiver Justin Brown left for Oklahoma.
Wednesday's roster update also came with uniform numbers for the rookies. Lewis will wear No. 16 for the Lions.
Though Penn State will have names on the backs of their jerseys this season, there are actually two receivers named E. Lewis on the squad – Eugene and fifth-year senior Evan (No. 4).
Valley View's Nyeem Wartman, a true freshman linebacker, will wear No. 5.
Nine freshmen walk-ons were also listed on the new roster, six of them who played high school ball in Pennsylvania. One of those six is Reynolds "Renny" Parthemore, now a punter and formerly a pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization.
Parthemore played at Cedar Cliff High School for former Valley West coach Jim Cantafio but pursued a baseball career after being drafted in the 18th round by the Sox in 2009. He was released in April.
Penn State is looking for a new starting punter after Anthony Fera transferred to Texas. Junior Alex Butterworth enters camp as the favorite for the job.