[Update, 10:10 a.m.: Fera has been removed from the online Penn State football roster]
It looks like Anthony Fera is about to become a Longhorn.
Fera's name no longer appears on Penn State's online roster, which would suggest he's finalized the decision many have been expecting the last week or so. (Hookem.com reported as much on Wednesday night).
The next step would be confirmation, by way of statement, from the UT Athletics department.
[From July 31]: Southern California today confirmed Penn State expat Silas Redd would be joining its football team. Under guidelines set up by the NCAA, any current or incoming Penn State player has been granted to transfer to any other school -- even within the Big Ten conference -- and be immediately eligible.
So, is Anthony Fera next?
Fera -- a Cypress, Texas, native whose two sisters graduated from UT -- visited Austin this Sunday and reportedly came away with a scholarship offer in hand, per Hookem.com (Texas is one under the 85-scholarship limit after Paden Kelley's decision to quit the team).
We reached out to the all-conference punter, who was also 14-of-17 on field goal attempts, but the family is understandably mum right now as Fera contemplates all of this. He's scheduled to graduate in the fall, so a transfer of credits would have to be worked out, and Fera would of course want to be put on a similar program.
Per Ben Jones of StateCollege.com, Fera was in attendance of a "Rise and Rally" event in State College this morning, put on to support the Penn State players remaining with the program despite the sanctions levied by the NCAA -- a four-year postseason ban and loss of scholarships most directly effecting the current players. It's not too surprising for Fera to be in State College until he's come to a decision, though that'd have to happen rather soon as the Longhorns report for fall camp August 5.
Texas is in need of a proven kicker after Justin Tucker graduated. Under scholarship are placekickers Will Russ and Nick Jordan. Ben Pruitt and Nick Rose, two walk-ons, are vying for the job as well, and Alex King, a transfer from Duke, could be the frontrunner at punter.
Russ has a big leg, but struggled in spring practices. And Jordan could very well be the Longhorns kicker of the future, but he's only 18. Clearly, the coaching staff doesn't have a large amount of confidence in either of these players if they're looking to add Fera, a fourth-year junior.
After all, head coach Mack Brown did rhetorically ask the following in June:
"Who is your punter? Who is the guy to step up and make [the big kick] that we'll have at some point next year? Who kicks off? Who will do it?"
Texas is hoping "Fera" is the answer to it all.