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Last updated: June 13. 2014 5:46PM - 2140 Views
By - dlevarse@civitasmedia.com



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Penn State said goodbye to its beloved equipment manager on Friday. The Nittany Lions also publicly bid adieu to three scholarship players.
 
Brad “Spider” Caldwell's retirement after 31 years at the university was announced last month and this was his final day on the job.
 
On the field, the Lions will be without a pair of receivers in Richy Anderson and Jonathan Warner going forward, while offensive lineman Anthony Alosi will also not return for the 2014 season. Walk-on quarterback Austin Whipple will also be looking to play elsewhere.
Lions247 first reported the roster changes.
 
“We thank them for their contributions to the program and wish them well in their future academic and athletic endeavors,” Lions coach James Franklin said in a statement.
 
Some amount of turnover was inevitable. There isn't a major program out there that doesn't see at least a few transfers following a complete overhaul to the coaching staff.
 
With Penn State still short on total scholarships as the NCAA sanctions fade away, it was even more likely that players would leave.
 
Of the group, only Anderson has seen any meaningful snaps for Penn State. Here's a quick breakdown of each outgoing player.
 
RICHY ANDERSON
Sophomore receiver
Though Bill O'Brien's offense favored two-tight-end sets, when the Lions used a slot receiver in 2013, it was frequently Anderson who filled the role.
 
Penn State didn't have an ideal slot receiver on the roster last year, which is one of the reasons that Anderson played as a true freshman instead of using a redshirt that likely would have benefited him more.
 
Still, Anderson caught 13 passes for 111 yards, appearing in 11 games. The one he missed was for disciplinary reasons, as O'Brien elected to not take him out to Columbus for the Ohio State game so he could focus on academics.
 
The son of former Lions standout running back Richie Anderson, he was originally committed to Maryland out of high school before ultimately signing with Penn State. He can transfer to another FBS program and use his available redshirt while sitting out the mandatory year.
 
JONATHAN WARNER
Sophomore (RS) receiver
The son of yet another famed Penn State running back — Curt Warner — Jonathan redshirted in 2012 and saw the field in just two games last season without recording a catch.
 
The writing was more or less on the wall for Warner when he remained buried on the depth chart after spring practice. And that was before the new crop of freshman wideouts arrived.
 
Though his football days are over, his Penn State days are not. The school said Friday that Warner will remain enrolled.
 
ANTHONY ALOSI
Junior (RS) offensive lineman
 
The least surprising name on the list, Alosi had been indefinitely suspended from the team during the spring and will now graduate in August.
 
Alosi had rarely seen the field in his first three years on the team, appearing in seven games in 2013 as a depth lineman.
 
Any shot he had of impressing the new staff went out the window when he was ultimately charged with misdemeanor simple assault from an alleged incident in January.
 
AUSTIN WHIPPLE
Freshman (RS) quarterback
 
Unofficially the team's fourth-string quarterback last year behind Christian Hackenberg, Tyler Ferguson and D.J. Crook, Whipple will now look to transfer.
 
Penn State was an attractive spot for Whipple to walk on because of O'Brien. Aside from O'Brien's reputation with developing quarterbacks, O'Brien was friends with his father, Mark Whipple, a long-time coach in the pro and college ranks. The two knew each other from Brown University.
 
Looking ahead
So what does this mean for the Lions? Well, only Anderson was projected to make an impact with the team in 2014. Eugene Lewis had singled out Anderson at the end of spring practice as hitting a new level.
 
But the Lions do seem to have a replacement ready to go in true freshman De'Andre Thompkins. An early enrollee who arrived in January, Thompkins is already perhaps the fastest player on the team and his elusiveness makes him an ideal candidate to play the slot.
 
With two wideouts gone, it opens things up even more for the freshman receiver class. Joining Thompkins will be highly regarded prospects Troy Apke, Saeed Blacknall and Chris Godwin, all of whom could challenge for immediate playing time given the Lions lack of depth and experience at the position.
 
Looking even further down the road, the departures of Anderson and Warner free up scholarships for the 2015 recruiting class. Though Penn State is now allowed to sign up to the maximum of 25 prospects, the Lions are still restricted on total scholarships.
 
Penn State is allowed to have 75 scholarship players for this season and 80 for 2015 before getting back to the normal cap of 85 for 2016.
 
The Lions weren't in danger of being over 75 for this season, but the 80-man limit for 2015 would restrict them from signing an overly large recruiting class next winter. Penn State will be able to sign at least two more players next winter because of this.
 
We'll close it out today with this video from Penn State featuring players thanking Spider for his time with the program
 
—derek
 


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