Former, current players reflect on transfers

Graham Zug will lie back and peruse the box scores every Saturday. He'll glance past the passing, sometimes the defensive stats. Sometimes, he won't even look at the other team.

The former Penn State wideout isn't interested in the Heisman race or even the national title picture. He just wants to know how Penn State's transfers played.

"I still watch them," Zug said.

Zug isn't alone. Several lettermen said a majority of recent players support the transfers, although they believed the mood is more evenly split among other alumni.

Derek Moye, last year's top wideout, said he harbors no resentment toward the nine transfers. He wishes they would have remained in Happy Valley, but their departures have led to an unexpected bonus on Saturdays.

"I watch a majority of the guys' games, and I think it's kind of cool to have a rooting interest for teams other than Penn State," Moye said.

Moye and Zug have watched both games of USC transfer Silas Redd, not others, because the Trojans appear on TV so often. Whenever Moye's clicking through the channels, finding games with the transfers becomes a priority -- as long as it remains competitive.

He admitted to clicking away from the USC-Hawaii game after awhile. But, then again, USC led 35-0 at halftime.

"I don't really know if I could say if they made the right or wrong decision," Moye said, referring to Redd and Oklahoma's Justin Brown. "But both of their teams are 2-0 and Penn State's 0-2. It's really hard to look at how they're both doing and say they made a wrong decision."

Feelings appeared to be mixed among the current team. Defensive end Pete Massaro shook his head Tuesday and said he doesn't follow them. Deion Barnes said he'll chat with Redd occasionally -- but that's the extent of his involvement.

Allen Robinson and Adrian Amos both said they continue to root for their former teammates.

"At the end of the day," Robinson said, "we're still brothers."

Adam Taliaferro, a member of the 2000 recruiting class, agreed with Robinson's sentiment. He hasn't missed Redd's first two games, and he still talks with Brown.

Taliaferro and a few former players packed into a downtown sports bar after the Penn State season-opener and cheered for Redd against the Rainbow Warriors. Taliaferro still hasn't watched Brown, but the Sooners haven't yet appeared on national TV.

"I told Justin he's still a Penn State guy, he's just in a different uniform for a while," Taliaferro said. "When you're part of the family, it's hard to turn your back on anyone like that."

Most players said they understood the transfers, but Brown's and Redd's still came as a shock. Redd was a returning tailback who could have seen 25 touches a game, while Brown would have been the No. 1 option in a pro-style offense during his final semester. But, the current and former lettermen said, the transfers did what they thought was best for them.

"I don't have any hard feelings for them," Zug added. "But, if it was me, I would've stayed at Penn State because I dedicated my life to Penn State. But you can't get mad at other people -- they had great opportunities."