Ryan Nowicki Transfer: Nowicki Leaving Penn State, Possibly For Illinois

The first domino has fallen at Penn State after the NCAA handed down its sanctions in wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Redshirt freshman offensive tackle Ryan Nowicki has announced his intention to transfer, and he's reportedly targeted the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Nowicki was a three-star recruit coming out of Glendale, Ariz. in 2011 and was recruited by Ron Zook and his staff, but he did not visit Champaign. That said, the appeal to Nowicki is obvious. For one, he can stay in the Big 10, but more importantly he'd enter a program under first-year head coach Tim Beckman on a relatively level playing field as returning players there.

The NCAA's penalization of Penn State allows for Nittany Lions players to transfer anywhere in the country without sitting out a year, and without the scholarship counting against a school's limit of 85 (with the exception of schools like the USC Trojans that have also had their scholarships reduced).

For updates on Illini football recruiting, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For all your college football needs, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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