CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 15: A general view of Memorial Stadium as the Illinois Fighting Illini take on the Ohio State Buckeyes on October 15, 2011 in Champaign, Illinois. Ohio State defeated Illinois 17-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Ryan Nowicki Transfer: Nowicki Leaving Penn State For Illinois Fighting Illini

Three-star offensive tackle Ryan Nowicki has officially declared he is transferring to the Illinois Fighting Illini from the Penn State Nittany Lions.

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Ryan Nowicki Transfer: Penn State Tackle Informs Illinois Head Coach Of Transfer

The embattled Penn St. Nittany Lions football program continues to struggle. According to Richart Obert of the Arizona Republic, OT Ryan Nowicki has officially told the Illinois Fighting Illini staff that he is transferring:

Nowicki, a three-star offensive lineman out of Glendale, Arizona, spent the 2011 NCAA season as a redshirt. The 6-foot-5, 280 lbs. lineman received a number of accolades coming out of high school, including a No. 31 prep tackle in the nation ranking from Rivals.com.

With the Penn State football program undergoing heavy sanctions for the Sandusky scandal, many players have elected to take advantage of the NCAA's offered amnesty regarding transfers. Nowicki himself had been a subject of transfer rumors for some time.

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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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.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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