Freshman linebacker Brennan Franklin has left the Penn State football program for personal reasons, coach Bill O’Brien announced on Tuesday.
Franklin is the second player to leave the program this month. O’Brien announced Monday that running back Curtis Dukes is no longer with the team.
The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Franklin was the first scholarship player to join the program following last summer’s announcement of NCAA sanctions against the school. Franklin, a Peoria (Ariz.) resident, redshirted this past season. He was not listed on Penn State’s depth chart.
Franklin has enrolled at Glendale (Ariz.) Community College for the second semester, according to the Arizona Republic.
Franklin was one of three scholarship linebackers to join the team in 2012. Nyeem Wartman and Gary Wooten are expected to compete for playing time in the fall.
Graduate assistant candidate for Troy job
Penn State graduate assistant Zac Etheridge is a candidate to become the cornerbacks coach at Division I Troy University, according to Pete Roussel of coachingsearch.com.
Defensive coordinator Ted Roof helped bring Etheridge to Penn State last spring. Etheridge, a former defensive back, played for Roof at Auburn. Roof worked as Auburn’s defensive coordinator from 2008-11. The Tigers won the 2010 Bowl Championship Series title.
Ehteridge, 25, is a Troy (Ala.) native.
Nittany Lions receive votes
Penn State received a season-high 90 votes in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll released early Tuesday. The Nittany Lions, who finished 8-4 in the first year of a NCAA-mandated postseason ban, missed landing in the Top 25 by two spots.
Ohio State led Big 10 schools by finishing third behind Alabama and Oregon in the final poll. The Buckeyes finished 12-0, but they couldn’t participate in the postseason because of a tattoos for cash scandal.
Northwestern (No. 17), Michigan (No. 24) and Nebraska (No. 25) also finished in the Top 25. Penn State faces Ohio State, Michigan and Nebraska in 2013.
Rocco headed to Richmond
Quarterback Mike Rocco, who has numerous Penn State ties, has completed his transfer from Virginia to Division I-AA Richmond. Rocco’s uncle, Danny Rocco, is the Spiders’ head coach.
Danny started his career at Penn State before transferring to Wake Forest. Rocco’s father, Frank Rocco Jr., also played for the Nittany Lions. His grandfather, Frank Rocco Sr., served as an administrative assistant under Joe Paterno.
Mike helped Virginia defeat Penn State 17-16 last season. He has one year of eligibility remaining.