Dakota Royer has ended his Penn State football career.
Royer, a third-year sophomore from Manheim Central High School, announced Wednesday that he’s leaving the program. In a statement sent to multiple media outlets, including the Centre Daily Times, Royer said he will continue his education at Penn State and plans to graduate in May.
Coach Bill O’Brien moved the 6-foot-1, 228-pound Royer from linebacker to tight end before the start of spring drills. Royer entered training camp as a backup ‘F’ tight end behind redshirt freshman Kyle Carter. Royer participated in the 30 minutes of Monday’s practice open to the media.
He is the ninth scholarship player to leave the Nittany Lions in the past two weeks. He’s also the second tight end to leave the team. Kevin Haplea transferred to Florida State last week.
“Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I regret to inform you that I felt it necessary to remove myself from the team,” Royer said in the statement. “I want to thank my teammates for their support and camaraderie, as well as Coach O’Brien and his staff for the opportunity.”
Royer, who helped Manheim Central reach the 2009 PIAA Class AAA final, and Haplea were part of a highly-regarded 2010 recruiting class. Only 10 of the 20 players who signed with Penn State on Feb. 3, 2010 remain with the program.
Former State College High School star running back Jack Haffner was one of 28 true freshmen listed on an updated roster unveiled Wednesday.
Haffner announced last February that he would be joining the program as a preferred walk-on. He participated in voluntary summer workouts and practiced with returning players for the first time Tuesday.
A consensus first-team all-state selection, the 5-foot-10, 206-pound Haffner rushed for 2,134 yards on 288 carries in 2011. He combines with Akeel Lynch to give Penn State two true freshmen who rushed for more than 2,000 yards as high school seniors.
Haffner will wear No. 37.
Sophomore wide receiver Alex Kenney (State College) and redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Lucas (Bellefonte) also graduated from Centre County high schools. Kenney is the leading candidate to start at slot receiver.
Former pro baseball player joins team
Renny Parthemore finally reached Penn State.
Parthemore was one of the key pieces in the school’s 2009 baseball recruiting class, but he turned professional after the Boston Red Sox selected him in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball Draft. Parthemore signed for $150,000 and ended last season in the rookie Gulf Coast League. The Red Sox released the right-hander this past spring.
His baseball career appears finished because he’s joining Penn State’s football team as a punter.
Parthemore’s leg might be as powerful as his arm. He had a 71-yard punt during his senior year at Cedar Cliff High School. He’s listed as a true freshman. He isn’t eligible to join Penn State’s baseball team because he pitched professionally.
A bunch of names
Penn State’s other true freshmen: wide receivers Trevor Williams, Malik Golden, Eugene Lewis and Jonathan Warner; quarterback Steven Bench; running backs Lynch, Dominic Salomone, and Colin Bryan; tight ends Jesse James and Brent Wilkerson; offensive linemen Anthony Stanko and Wendy Laurent; defensive linemen Derek Dowrey, Albert Hall, Evan Schwan, Austin Johnson and Brian Gaia; linebackers Adam Cole, Brennan Franklin, Nyeem Wartman and Charles Idemudia; cornerbacks Da’Quan Davis and Jake Kiley; safeties Jordan Lucas and Bryan Harper; and specialist Joe Marvin.
James enrolled last January and participated in spring drills. He’s a candidate to receive immediate playing time at tight end.
Guy Cipriano can be reached at 231-4643. Follow him on Twitter @cdtguy