Tim Buckley became the first player to transfer from Penn State’s football program Monday.
Buckley, a safety from Raleigh, will play for N.C. State this season, the school announced.
Buckley, who has four years of eligibility remaining, was listed as a second-string safety on Penn State’s most recent depth chart. He was a star running back at Cardinal Gibbons in 2010 and was recruited by N.C. State out of high school.
Buckley, who is listed at 6-feet, and 202 pounds, chose to walk-on at Penn State. He will be on scholarship at N.C. State and will be eligible to play this season.
“I am excited to be a member of the N.C. State Wolfpack,” Buckley said in a statement released by the school. “The opportunity to come here and play at my state university, so close to home, was something that I couldn’t pass up.”
The NCAA granted Penn State players amnesty after its ruling on July 23, which banned the program from the postseason for four years and cut its annual scholarship total in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Sandusky, a longtime assistant to coach Joe Paterno, was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse in June. Paterno, school president Graham Spanier and former athletic director Tim Curley made an "active decision to conceal facts" about Sandusky’s criminal behavior, according to the independent report issued by former FBI director Louis Freeh on July 13.
NCAA president Mark Emmert swiftly responded to the Freeh Report with the heavy NCAA sanctions and a $60 million fine.
A group of about 30 Penn State players, including several starters, issued a statement Wednesday vowing to stay with the program through the turmoil.
Running back Silas Redd, Penn State’s most coveted player, visited Southern California last weekend. Backup quarterback Rob Bolden, who had announced his intention to leave the program before the sanctions were announced, is expected to transfer to LSU.
Given the severity of the punishment to the Penn State program, the NCAA waived the mandatory year off for transfers. The schools which accept the Penn State transfers are also allowed to go over the 85-scholarship limit for the 2012 season.
N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien said last week he had scholarships available.
Buckley adds depth to a position of strength at N.C. State. The Pack returns all four starters in the defensive backfield, including senior safeties Earl Wolff and Brandon Bishop.
Buckley would have had a chance to play this season for the Nittany Lions, who have to replace both of their starting safeties. Buckley, a free safety, had four tackles in the Blue-White Game in the spring.
N.C. State begins practice for the 2012 season Aug. 7.