Perhaps the biggest news to come out of Penn State football media day Tuesday was the fact that senior running back Stephfon Green, the backup to Evan Royster for the past three seasons, is no longer with the team.
When initially asked about Green, who was absent from the team roster issued to media members when they checked in Tuesday, head coach Joe Paterno replied, "I doubt he'll be back."
Asked to elaborate, the coach added, "Stephfon’s had some problems and I think right now for the benefit of everybody, especially the good of the football team, it might be better if he backs away right now.”
A source said Green was kicked off for an "undisclosed violation" of team rules but would not be specific.
The 5-foot-10, 198-pound Green provided versatility for the Lions the last three years -- rushing, catching passes and returning kickoffs. But after gaining 578 yards rushing and 268 yards receiving (on 15 receptions) as a freshman, the Bronx native saw his totals drop each of the next two seasons.
Last year, with freshman Silas Redd getting more carries as the season wore on, Green rushed for only 188 yards and four touchdowns, and caught nine passes for 78 yards. He did not have a single rushing attempt in either of the last two games, against Michigan State and Florida.
For his career, Green rushed for 1,085 yards, 36th on the Lions' all-time list.
With Green's departure, Redd, who rushed for 437 yards last season and averaged 5.7 yards, would appear to be the clear-cut No. 1 tailback. Junior Brandon Beachum, who sat out last season recovering from knee surgery, and sophomore Curtis Dukes are the current backups.