Penn state offensive linemen Ryan Nowicki is transferring to Illinois and will be eligible to play immediately in Champaign. We know that Tim Beckman sent a group of coaches to the Happy Valley area and it was also confirmed that they met with players at an off-campus location. We can assume that Nowicki was one of the players that they exchanged words with.
The offensive lineman from Glendale, Ariz. redshirted last year for Penn State and was ranked the 60th best offensive tackle in the class of 2011 by ESPN recruiting. He is a 6’5″, 280-pounder who can give the Illini a chance to improve their protection up front. Nowicki is among eight other PSU players that will no longer be Nittany Lions.
He attributed his decision to transfer to the fact that he “liked the family atmosphere (Illinois) had as a team. The coaches are there for the players no matter what…They’re going to be a great team in the future, and I want to be a part of that,” he told the Chicago Tribune.
There were one or two other coaches from the Big Ten (at B1G media days) who expressed interest in Penn State players, but as of this time, Beckman is the only one to act. Illinois is the only team within the conference to acquire a transfer from Penn State. This will not make Beckman look good around the conference, but something tells me he’s not here to make friends.
What this means for Illinois: This means that Beckman is being proactive, just like he said he would. He is going out and giving the program the best possible chance to win. If this means taking players from other teams (within the rules) then Beckman is going to do it. Beckman has been very influential in the recruiting process and involving the fans/state. If he continues this aggressive approach, it is likely that he will see results.
In other football news: Senior safety Dawyn Kelly from Howard D. Woodson High School in Washington D.C. has committed to Illinois. Kelly is a 6’1″, 195-pound safety who is ranked the No. 44 overall for safety in the class of 2013 by ESPN. Kelly marks the 16th commitment for Illinois’ class of 2013.
Here is a list of the Penn State players who are transferring. Among them is Silas Redd who is Penn State’s most electric player. Touché Lane Kiffin…Touché.
Rob Bolden (QB) LSU
Justin Brown (WR) Oklahoma
Tim Buckley (S) NC State
Anthony Fera (K/P) Texas
Khairi Fortt (LB) California
Kevin Haplea (TE) Florida State
Ryan Nowicki (OL) Illinois
Jamil Pollard (DT) Rutgers
Silas Redd (RB) USC
Follow on Twitter @Midwaymadness