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Penn State’s top returning WR heads to Sooners

Justin Brown, Josh Johnson AP

As of the middle of last week, there had been six current or incoming Penn State players who have officially taken advantage of liberal transfer rules the NCAA handed down as part of the sanctions on the football program.

Unfortunately for first-year head coach Bill O’Brien, that number is now up to nine, with one of the latest yet another big loss offensively.

As has been rumored for the past several days, wide receiver Justin Brown has decided to leave the Nittany Lions and will play instead this season for Oklahoma.  The Sooners were one of the first schools to contact Brown after the sanctions were announced last week and offer him a scholarship.

Brown flew into Oklahoma City Monday night, per a tweet from the player, and was on the practice field with his new Sooner teammates Tuesday morning.

“We are excited that Justin wants to finish his college career here at OU,” head coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. “Justin started 11 games last season and was a productive performer on offense and special teams. We are confident that he can quickly integrate with our team. We’re looking forward to the experience and maturity he will add to our receiving corps.”

Speaking to the media following practice, Brown said it was important to him to get the approval of his now-former Penn State teammates for the transfer.  He added it meant a lot to him when he got that stamp of approval.

The transfer comes as good news to the injury-depleted Sooners — “Wow, this guy is special,” Stoops said he told receivers coach Jay Norvell — but it serves as yet another crushing offensive blow for the Nittany Lions.  Brown would’ve been Penn State’s leading returning receiver after catching 35 passes for 517 yards and two touchdowns last season.

In addition to Brown, O’Brien has lost the team’s leading rusher from a season ago — Silas Redd, USC — and second-leading scorer — kicker Anthony Fera, Texas — in less than a week.

Additionally, offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki decided to officially leave the program Monday as well and is headed to Illinois.  Nowicki became the first Penn State player to transfer to another Big Ten school.

There was some good news on the personnel front for Penn State late this past week, though, as a pair of running backs — incoming freshman Akeel Lynch and senior Curtis Dukes — have both reaffirmed their commitments to the Nittany Lions.  Brown had been expected to decide between Penn State and Iowa this past weekend.

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37 Responses to “Penn State’s top returning WR heads to Sooners”
  1. seanmmartin says: Aug 7, 2012 1:20 PM

    Who has more wins in 2012: Minnesota or PSU?

    PSU: thumbs up
    MN: thumbs down

  2. gotampabay52 says: Aug 7, 2012 1:36 PM

    screw MN

  3. tommy57 says: Aug 7, 2012 1:37 PM

    If he wanted to go, he made a good choice. Oklahoma is an excellent school with a very good program (unless, of course, you’re from Texas).

    For the rest of us back at PSU, this is like bleeding to death, very slowly. I guess this is what NCAA had in mind.

    I’m not exactly sure what I did to deserve this.

  4. TxGrown says: Aug 7, 2012 1:46 PM

    Newsflash! tommy…
    The vast majority of sooners players are from Texas. If they had to rely on “homegrown” boys they would be as good as Oral Roberts U.

  5. gorilladunk says: Aug 7, 2012 1:47 PM

    @tommy57…you didn’t do anything to deserve this. It was the higher-ups that hung Penn St. out to dry and now the piper is calling. I feel some empathy for PSU fans because this is going to be devastating. A proud football tradition is about to be decimated. Once again we have to remember that we live with the consequences of our choices. If only the top administrators and JoePa would have remembered that.

  6. gorilladunk says: Aug 7, 2012 1:52 PM

    And once again, TxGrown proves that an IQ that is approximate to one’s shoe size is quite prevalant among the most entitled fan base in America. He needs to be bothered about the fact that the whorns seem to get all the recruits they want every year and consistently underachieve with their “February” Nat’l Championships.

  7. tommy57 says: Aug 7, 2012 1:53 PM


    Thanks, and I agree. We all must live with the consequences of our choices, but in this case, I made no choices nor did the other 50,000+ in State College. We’re living with an NCAA choice.

  8. brewcrewfan54 says: Aug 7, 2012 1:57 PM

    No Tommy. Quit blaming the NCAA and blame your own school for doing this to themselves. The fans are just collateral damage.

  9. mvp43 says: Aug 7, 2012 2:01 PM

    The NCAA was absolutely correct in how they handled this whole situation but I can’t blame @tommy57 for feeling that way.

  10. haterhurter937 says: Aug 7, 2012 2:01 PM

    right on tommy57!

  11. charleslouis99 says: Aug 7, 2012 2:06 PM

    dream on, dream on, dream till your dream come true.

  12. RideSurf says: Aug 7, 2012 2:10 PM

    Smart kid.


  13. latrobe21 says: Aug 7, 2012 2:14 PM

    It’s not like we had a quarterback who could get him the ball, anyway.

  14. dkhhuey says: Aug 7, 2012 2:30 PM

    I love how the PSU fans/students/alumni continue to blame the NCAA for their current status! Sorry, the NCAA didn’t wake up one morning and say, hey, let’s totally F@#$ PSU today! Sorry, your own people brought this on – so kindly point the finger where it belongs!

  15. TxGrown says: Aug 7, 2012 2:39 PM

    Oh gorilladunk…
    You’re too kind. Keep those panties tightly wadded.
    You intellectual giant you.

  16. tommy57 says: Aug 7, 2012 3:03 PM

    You may not like PSU, for whatever reasons. You may be reveling at the apparent PSU demise. But please consider this:

    The primary justification for the NCAA sanctions against PSU was not for any athletic rules violation, but for the failure of PSU leadership to stop criminal behavior in the apparent attempt to prevent a scandal that would impact an athletic program.

    Whether you like PSU or not, the NCAA action should concern you because it sets a precedent; to me, a very troubling precedent. For those of you who understand the workings of the U.S. Government, this is very similar to the government’s use of the Commerce Clause in the Constitution, which they have used as a basis for extremely wide-reaching regulation and, to some, interference in states’ rights.

    If this NCAA decision against PSU is allowed to stand, it sets the precident for them to assign sanctions for a growing list of perceived infractions, not directly related to athletics or athletic competitive advantage.

    For example, an English Literature professor gets into trouble and the issue is ‘swept under the rug’ to protect the reputation of the university. NCAA can now, as the U.S. Government does with the Commerce Clause, determine that by protecting the university, they were also protecting the university athletics programs and, therefore, were in violation and assign sanctions.

    You may think this is a stretch, but that’s what some thought about the first expansion of the Commerce Clause interpretation. Yes, for some, it’s fun to hate PSU and to enjoy the current sanctions. You may not like the PSU BoT and think most of them should resign, and I’d agree with you. You may decry the audacity of the Paterno family in challenging the NCAA actions (along with the PSU Bot), but if you can just take a moment to think it through, the NCAA actions in this case should present a disturbing and dangerous situation for all colleges.

  17. psunick says: Aug 7, 2012 3:37 PM

    Appreciate the balanced report, John. I don’t see very much of that in regards to Penn State this summer.

  18. stairwayto7 says: Aug 7, 2012 3:41 PM

    Texas and Oklahoma fans never heard of these players until a week ago!

  19. eightysixisback says: Aug 7, 2012 3:58 PM

    dkhhuey says:
    Aug 7, 2012 2:30 PM
    I love how the PSU fans/students/alumni continue to blame the NCAA for their current status! Sorry, the NCAA didn’t wake up one morning and say, hey, let’s totally F@#$ PSU today! Sorry, your own people brought this on – so kindly point the finger where it belongs!

    I love how people like you keep telling PSU fans/students/alumni that OUR people did this and act we are responsible for everything that happened. Explain that one to me. There were four people within the penn state community who were responsible for what happened. Four. There are 50,000 plus people that attend penn state and millions more who are alumni. How exactly are any of us responsible for what happened? We are the ones being punished by these sanctions not the people who were actually responsible. I feel no sympathy for Joepa. He was wrong. He lectured forever about integrity and when he had a chance to prove that he was a man of integrity he failed miserably. I get that. I am not making excuses for joe and quite frankly i despise him for what he did. Explain to me how punishing the foootball program, the students, the alumni and the university in general helps to bring justice to this situation. 99.999999% of the people involved in any way with the university did nothing to deserve to be punished. And before any of you slam me and say that i am sticking up for the people who allowed those children to be victimized i would like to point out something that i have told two people in the entire world: i was a victim of sexual abuse as a child so to any one on here who wants to act like i am supporting those four people f*ck you! most of you have absolutely no idea what those kids went through. I do. I am damn sure that nothing the NCAA has done to penn state makes any of the victims feel any better. It does nothing to bring justice to the guilty.
    Joe deserved to be punished as do the rest of the guilty but sanctions against the football program do not in any way shape or form punish anyone except the 99.99999% who had nothing to do with any of this.
    And to those of you who lump all of us that are PSU fans/students/alumni together with the guilty: if we are all guilty of something in your minds in this situation because of our ties to penn state than any of you that live in a town where one pedophile preyed on innocent children and a few people didnt do anything to stop it should be lumped together with those people because you are associated with their community. I feel for those children more than most of you ever could imagine. I wish that sandusky would be tortured the rest of his life for what he did because what he did will torture those he did it to for the rest of their lives but sandusky did it and a few others covered it up, period. Everyone else associated with the school does not deserve to be punished. You people who are pointing fingers and blaming everyone are ridiculous. That in no way helps sanduskys victims.

  20. illcomm says: Aug 7, 2012 4:00 PM

    over-under 4 wins this year for psu. I give them maybe three if they r lucky. psu football is 7-10 years away from another winning record. so that will be about 20 years of losing in total considering you just went aimless the last 14 years.

  21. blastfurnaceknows says: Aug 7, 2012 4:07 PM

    tommy57, you have your moments, when a post you write is not completely without merit, but then there are those occasions, far more frequent, when your posts are complete nonsense, whiny and/or frighteningly stupid. Your last post may be your dumbest and most pathetic yet (which for you is really saying something).

    We ALL should fear the precedent that was set in this case because it could expose other schools to athletic sanctions when an English prof gets in trouble? Really? Seriously, are you for real? I fear you are at the bottom of a downward spiral, clinging to your paper lion, and shouting for sympathy from above.

    As for precedent, tommy, it is limited all the time due to unique circumstances of a particular case. I don’t know, but maybe such may be the case when a school and its head football coach make the conscious decision to ignore a pedophile in their midst, and acting on their grounds, to protect a football team and coach’s image and win totals. That may be just unique enough for the NCAA to the limit the precedential value of its action, because I’m pretty sure the NCAA has never had to deal with such a horrific set of circumstances before.

    I speak for myself only of course, but I am not the slightest bit concerned about the NCAA’s precedent in the PSU matter – I only wish it had gone further and shut the football program down completely for 2 years, because then maybe you, and others like you, could refocus your life’s priorities.

    The reason I’m not concerned is because I can’t see any other school/football program weighing protection of a child rapist over concern for his rape victims the way PSU did. And if any school ever did engage in such a selfish decision (again, football coach rapist > child rape victims), I’m OK with the precedent set by the NCAA here and would invite its use again anytime in the future IF the same set of circumstances ever were to reoccur.

  22. coolhorn says: Aug 7, 2012 4:07 PM

    Okay, Stoops got the receiver he wanted from Penn State. Wonder how many Penn State offensive linemen he’ll be talking to over the next few days.

  23. dkhhuey says: Aug 7, 2012 4:24 PM

    @86 – you guys act as though you’re the only school that has had sanctions levied against them! Enough with the victim mentality. The only thing that is impacted is going to be the quality of football that is being played at PSU! The students are not impacted because they still get to go to school! The players are not impacted because they can stay or they can go. The local businesses are not impacted because they will still have the same amount of people at each home game. They will still have the same amount of people buying PSU stuff. The local TV networks won’t be impacted because you’re still broadcasting games. The ONLY thing that is impacted is your reputation as a spotless program that wins! So stop bellyaching about how all of these innocent victims are impacted by the NCAA – because it isn’t true!

  24. brewcrewfan54 says: Aug 7, 2012 4:58 PM

    Eightsixisback, is this your first year paying attention to college sports? When the NCAA punishes schools rarely are the offenders still around to be part of the punishment. They still have to punish the school because if they don’t the schools will continue doing the same things thinking they wont get in trouble. This isn’t new. This is how its been since they started punishing teams. The fans and new players are the ones affected most. You PSU guys who though you were above it all for so long are not.

  25. coolhorn says: Aug 7, 2012 6:02 PM

    Just for the record Penn State fans, pay attention to fans of some of the more heavily-penalized schools. You’ll find that very few of them make much noise when the NCAA comes visiting…it’s happened before, and they generally take their punishment and move on down the line.

    I understand that Penn State’s dodged the hangman for ages, and sure, some question whether or not the NCAA had jurisdiction in this case, but they acted, and they DIDN’T give Penn State the death penalty, which they could have. Nobody says you have to like it, but there’s really not much that can be done about things now but just to serve the penalties, and rebuild when you can. Griping about things might feel like the right thing to do, but it doesn’t help…and neither does filing after-the-fact lawsuits.

    It’s not a conspiracy…what happened on the Penn State campus was heinous, and the criticism, and penalties, are deserved. That should be the end of the story…but probably won’t be.

  26. charlescub80 says: Aug 7, 2012 6:10 PM

    @ blast, nice!
    @ tommy, are you really that ignorant? Did I miss the part where other PSU athletics were punished? Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. The head football coach allowed another football coach molest children in the football locker room for years. The football program has now been punished. You, students, fans, and athletes are not a victim of a crime. Be thankful of what you have. There is more to life than some football game. Lives were ruined by incompetence and the “protect the program” mentality. Get out of the box and see the big picture.

  27. dietrich43 says: Aug 7, 2012 7:00 PM

    The sanctions on PSU affect about 0.1% of the current student population. Last time I checked, it was a University, not a football program. Students can still graduate with an accredited degree and pursue their life. They get a few bad years of football, so what? Not like PSU has been competing for a championship since 1998.

    The NCAA could have leveled worse sanctions than they did. As I understand the sanctions, the players have through the 2013 offseason to transfer; normally, the NCAA lets students transfer during the entire period of sanctions (4 years in this case).

  28. stairwayto7 says: Aug 7, 2012 7:02 PM

    To the trolls who say PSU won’t win 3 or 4 games, when PSU beats your team then maybe your football program should be shut down!

  29. blinddogwillie says: Aug 7, 2012 7:10 PM

    Slippery Rock on the schedule this year?

  30. usmcbronzestar says: Aug 7, 2012 8:09 PM

    Cool horn.

    You must have passion for the Sooners, needless to say how’s that kicking game now!

  31. loadofwash says: Aug 7, 2012 10:01 PM

    Ha ha haters, they can have that s.o.b. go blue!

  32. eightysixisback says: Aug 8, 2012 5:30 AM


    yeah its my first year ever watching college sports you got me. It was very clever of you to ask me that and it really helped you make your point. The last time i checked the NCAA punishes the school and the actual offenders are not are around because it takes time for the NCAA to actually conduct an investigation. Did that happen here? No. Where any of the players involved in abusing the victims? NO. Did they gain a competitive edge from this? No. Yes sandusky used the football program to lure his victims but explain to me again how that makes the football program guilty. That was what he had to use as bait. If he had used money to lure his victims would you blame the bank? When he used tickets to pro sporting events should they have punished the teams he took them to see?
    Sandusky molested children, paterno and some administrators helped to cover it up. They didn’t cover it up to help the football program, they covered it up to save their own asses. People were calling for Paterno to retire even back then and he was smart enough to realize that the fallout if the truth got out would have led to questions about him being able to run a major college football program. it would have been ammunition for the people calling for him to step down.
    I guess maybe it happened this year it being my first year watching college sports and all as you so cleverly pointed out, but when len bias died as a result of using cocaine coaches and administrators were made scapegoats because as usual the media incites people and we have to blame everyone and everything we possibly can instead of focusing on the real issue and figuring out ways to prevent the same things from happening in the future. A 20 year old made the decision to use cocaine and the media and the NCAA went after anyone and everyone they could instead of blaming the guy who made the decision to use cocaine.
    Sandusky molested children and the administrators and paterno realized that it would reflect negatively on them so they covered it up. They are the people that deserved to be punished. I have no issue with the wins being taken away, having the most wins was all paterno cared about for the last decade or so and that is what motivated him. paterno deserved to be punished for his actions as do spanier and schultz and curley. How is this accomplished by sanctions against the football program?

  33. jtm12180 says: Aug 8, 2012 7:12 AM

    Second oklahoma lineman out for year the other day…yeah Justin brown, gonna be a great decision when your QB is on his back every play…

  34. illcomm says: Aug 8, 2012 8:53 AM

    you sshouldnt be hating on the player for transferring. you should hate on the administrators n the coach who covered up crimes n put the negative spotlight on PSU.

  35. jtm12180 says: Aug 8, 2012 9:14 AM

    stairway, send your boys down to Columbia, SC this year….the rest of the team would transfer after playing an SEC team

  36. coolhorn says: Aug 8, 2012 1:30 PM

    @usmcbronzestar…any passion I have for zero-u is about the same passion that you would have for an IRS auditor who tells you to bring all of your financial records in. For the record…the worst paying job in Oklahoma? Becoming a dentist…and the reason should be obvious.

  37. dkhhuey says: Aug 8, 2012 5:20 PM

    @86 – still whining I see! Congrats, you and your fellow PSUers have elevated your college to king of the hill when it comes to whining, crying, and bellyaching biggest f@#$ing babies on the planet! Waaaahhhh, our team is going to suck… waaaahhh, what did we do to deserve this… wwwaaaaahhhhh… I want my mommy to make them take it back…. waaaaahhhh… f@#&ing pathetic group you’re becoming!

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