How Much Will Losing Silas Redd, Khairi Fortt, Rob Bolden Hurt Penn State?

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The predictions were dire but were they correct and, more importantly, how will it affect the Penn State football team on the field?

Many around the country figured that the Penn State football would, not only be decimated by NCAA sanctions but, see the current roster gutted by the liberal recruiting and transfer rules the NCAA also imposed.

To date, we've seen a few players leave the Nittany Lions with the biggest name being Silas Redd. But we haven't seen the perverbial flood gates open as of yet.

In addition to Redd heading to USC, backup junior linebacker Khairi Fortt will transfer to California, fourth-string tight end Kevin Haplea is transferring to Florida State, third-string quarterback Rob Bolden is going to LSU, walk-on safety and Raleigh, N.C. native Tim Buckley is going home to North Carolina State, where he received a scholarship offer and incoming freshman Jamil Pollard will start his college football career at Rutgers now instead of Penn State.

That's a total of six - certainly not a flood at this point by any means.

How will they affect the the on-field performance?

Clearly, Redd will be missed. He rushed for 1,241 yards last season on a team that was woefully inadequate in the passing game. That leaves Bill Belton and Curtis Dukes, both of whom are still on the roster.

Belton looked impressive running the wildcat against Ohio State and was immediately moved from wide receiver to running back when Bill O'Brien, and his staff, saw him in the spring. Dukes has shown promise as well.

In addition, incoming freshman Akeel Lynch is highly touted. Lynch, however, is apparently looking at other schools. Iowa, which has lost a slew of running backs due to injury, suspensions and dismissals is targeting Lynch hard. Losing Lynch would be a blow but so far he is still in the fold.

Fortt had a ton of offers over the last two weeks. He wasn't going to start but he was going to play a lot. He had 33 tackles last season. His absence will hurt the linebacking depth.

After that, though, it's debateable how much the Lions lost. Haplea was fourth on the depth chart at tight end and wouldn't have had significant playing time unless there were a bunch of injuries.

Bolden's troubles have been well documented. He had actually been contacting schools since the spring. His departure is one that could be beneficial to both parties.

Buckley is from Raleigh. He not only gets to go home, but also gets a scholarship - something he didn't have at Penn State.

Pollard was a highly recruited defensive tackle and ranked as a four-star recruit. It's not clear how much he would've contributed this year but it's a big loss for depth and the future as the sanctions will prevent that scholarship from being replaced.

Yes, there are defnite losses - and there may be more as rumors have surfaced about wide receiver Justin Brown and others. That being said, the losses probably aren't as significant as many expected. The starting defense is all staying and that is certainly a big deal for this team.

So the predictions may have been dire and Redd's decision got an incredible amount of publicity nationwide. But his decision shouldn't be and isn't a referendum on this year's squad.

That will come starting Sept. 1.

Marty Valania covers football for Follow him on Twitter @EastRecruiting.

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