There hasn’t been much reason to smile in Happy Valley since the 2018 season came to an end. Over the last three weeks, Penn State has been losing players at an alarming rate.

As of Thursday morning, the Nittany Lions are at risk of losing 16 players this offseason, five to early NFL Draft entry and 11 more have either announced they’re leaving the program or have their name in the NCAA transfer portal. These aren’t just players failing to get playing time, either.

We’re still early in the offseason, which means that number could increase. It’s an unprecedented amount of turnover for a program that isn’t undergoing a coaching change.

Here’s a list of the five players who declared for the 2019 NFL Draft:

  • Miles Sanders, RB
  • Kevin Givens, DL
  • Ryan Bates, OL
  • Connor McGovern, OL
  • Shareef Miller, DL

And the list of 11 players who are either transferring or have put their names in the transfer portal:

  • Ayron Monroe, DB
  • Alex Gellerstedt, OL
  • Danny Dalton, TE
  • Dae’lun Darien, LB
  • Juwan Johnson, WR
  • Lamont Wade, DB
  • Zech McPhearson, CB
  • Brandon Polk, WR
  • Sterling Jenkins, OL
  • Isaiah Humphries, DB
  • Brelin Faison-Walden, LB

Regardless of the reasons for leaving early, having that many players departing a program is alarming. Especially, when there isn’t a massive overhaul on the coaching staff.

Players in the transfer portal still have the option to return to Penn State, but it’s likely that a good majority of those players will continue their careers elsewhere.

We’ll see if more players decide to leave the program over the next few weeks. But even if Franklin can stop the bleeding, this has been a brutal offseason for the Nittany Lions.