Penn State Football Loses Special Teams Ace Anthony Fera to Texas
Redshirt junior kicker/punter Anthony Fera has decided to transfer to Texas.
The loss is another setback for the 2012 season. Last year, Fera became the first Nittany Lion since Chris Bahr in 1975 to be the starter for field goals, kickoffs and punts. And, he was quite good in all three phases, connecting on 14-of-17 field goals, averaging 42 yards on 64 punts, (with 18 kicks landing inside the 20) and recording 10 touchbacks.
Fera, a Cypress, Texas native, returns to his home state and will be less than three hours away from his family in Austin.
He becomes at least the eighth transfer to leave the program since the spring, joining:
- Junior running back Silas Redd (Southern Cal)
- Junior linebacker Khairi Fortt (California)
- Junior tight end Kevin Haplea (Florida State)
- Junior quarterback Rob Bolden (LSU)
- Redshirt freshman safety Tim Buckley (North Carolina State)
- Freshman defensive lineman Jamil Pollard (Rutgers)
- Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki (Illinois)
In Fera's wake is sophomore kicker Sam Ficken. Punting duties figure to fall on junior Alex Butterworth, who stepped in for the final three games of the 2010 season after Fera underwent an appendectomy. The two also split punting duties early in 2011.
Fera released a statement Thursday regarding his decision to transfer and to say farewell to Penn State.
"The past few weeks have been extremely difficult as I've wrestled with the decision on my future. 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.
"The decision to remain at Penn State has been complicated due to an illness in my family. Shortly before I arrived on campus, the most important person in my life was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis), making it more and more difficult to travel each weekend from Texas to see me play. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I've been afforded the opportunity to give back to my family and make their lives a little easier by transferring to a university much closer to home, The University of Texas.
"I love Penn State University, my teammates, my coaches - both present and past - along with all of the great fans who have supported me and my teammates over the years. I made a promise to Coach Paterno and my family the day I arrived on campus to obtain a degree from Penn State University, which with the cooperation of the folks at Texas, I plan to fulfill over the next year. I will always proudly say that I am a Penn State alum!
"A new chapter in my life begins next week, and I am very excited to play for such a well-respected coach in Mack Brown and a Longhorn football program that is traditionally one of the finest in the nation. My family and I had a chance to visit Austin and get to know the coaches and some of the players last weekend. It is a wonderful place and we had a great time. I feel like I can have another extended family in Austin, and I'm really looking forward to being a part of the team and campus community.
"I cherish my time at Penn State, but look forward to challenges ahead and the ability to compete on the playing field and in the classroom at another tremendous institution in The University of Texas. I want to wish Coach (Bill) O'Brien and his entire staff, my fellow teammates, and all of Nittany Nation the very best this upcoming season. I will be giving my all to the Longhorns, but will always be pulling for my friends and Nittany Lions family as well."