- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Penn State's passing attack is showing life under coach Bill O'Brien, but a familiar question surfaced Tuesday night when reports of another player departure began streaming in: Who will catch the ball for the Nittany Lions this season?
It's worth asking after Penn State confirmed Wednesday morning that junior wide receiver Shawney Kersey has left the program for personal reasons.
Kersey entered the season as Penn State's most experienced receiver. His five receptions in 2011 made him Penn State's leading returning pass-catcher, as seven others had left the program, either through graduation or transfer. Justin Brown, pegged as the team's top target for 2012, transferred to Oklahoma in August, and Devon Smith, who ranked third on the squad in receptions last fall, transferred to Marshall.
Kersey had six catches for 44 yards in Penn State's first two contests. He was listed as a starter on this week's depth chart for the Navy game.
Brown sparked debate about the real reason for Kersey's departure, tweeting Tuesday night: "Y they have to do that to my boy" and "They in no position to b giving guys the boot." He later tweeted that his comments had been taken out of context.
Although Allen Robinson (19 receptions) clearly has emerged as Matt McGloin's top target, and the tight ends, namely Kyle Carter, are more involved in O'Brien's offense, Kersey's loss certainly stings. An already thin position group is even thinner.