Just a little over a month before the season begins, Penn State has lost a key special teams piece.
Kickoff specialist Joey Julius is no longer with the Nittany Lions, the program confirmed Monday to PennLive.com's Bob Flounders.
Julius, who was listed by the program at 5-foot-10, 258 pounds, made headlines not only for being a larger-than-normal-sized kicker but also for his public battle with an eating disorder. He had been treated twice for the disorder within the last year.
A graduate of Lower Dauphin High School in the greater Harrisburg area, Julius averaged 62.1 yards per kickoff and recorded 45 touchbacks last season.
Julius, who would have been a redshirt junior this season, had not practiced with the Nittany Lions during the spring.
They didn't play this week, but Penn State football still moved up in the AP poll.
Four of last week's top 10 fell Saturday, including No. 2 Clemson. The Tigers were shocked by Syracuse on Saturday, losing 27-24 in the Carrier Dome.
As a result, Penn State, 31-7 winners over Northwestern last Saturday, take Clemson's spot. Alabama remains the only team ahead of the Nittany Lions. The Crimson Tide, who trounced Arkansas, 41-9, Saturday night, is the unanimous No. 1, receiving all 61 first-place votes. Georgia slides up a spot to No. 3, while No. 4 TCU and No. 5 Wisconsin round out the top five.
Penn State was last ranked as high as No. 2 on Oct. 31, 1999. The Nittany Lions next play 5-1 Michigan, ranked No. 19, Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.
For this week's full AP poll, click here.
It took a few weeks, but Penn State is finally moving on up in the AP poll.
By virtue of Saturday's 31-7 victory at Northwestern and Oklahoma's stunning loss at home to unranked heavy underdog Iowa State, Penn State has climbed up to No. 3 in the nation.
Penn State had been holding steady at No. 4 for the previous three weeks.
The Nittany Lions are behind only No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson, last season's National Championship Game participants.
Head coach James Franklin's team has a bye this coming week, and the Lions will need all the rest they can get as they'll return for back-to-back titanic matchups, first at home on Oct. 21 vs. No. 16 Michigan and then at The Horseshoe vs. No. 8 Ohio State on Oct. 28.
No. 4 Washington and No. 5 Georgia round out this week's Top 5.
For this week's full AP Poll, click here.