The Penn State Nittany Lions have lost a couple contributors — including Saquon Barkley’s possible 2018 replacement.
Running back Andre Robinson and kicker Alex Barbir are no longer with the team, a program spokesperson confirmed Tuesday night. Both asked for and were granted their releases to continue their careers elsewhere.
Neither Robinson nor Barbir are listed on Penn State’s roster. Lions 247 first reported the Barbir news.
Robinson is a sizable loss for the Penn State running back group.
With Barkley likely moving on to the NFL after the Fiesta Bowl, Robinson was expected to compete for the No. 1 role alongside Miles Sanders and Mark Allen. A redshirt sophomore, Robinson tallied 196 yards on 38 carries (5.2 yards per attempt) and six rushing touchdowns in 23 games played. He also caught a 40-yard touchdown last season.
Robinson — a Bishop McDevitt product and former four-star prospect — came to Penn State in the same recruiting class as Barkley. A bruising 5-foot-9, 223-pound back, Robinson was the 2013 PIAA Class 3A Player of the Year and accumulated 5,657 yards and 80 touchdowns in his high school career.
The writing was somewhat on the wall at Penn State for Robinson, though. He recorded one carry in the Nittany Lions’ last eight games while Sanders — a promising sophomore and former five-star prospect — became the clear No. 2 behind Barkley as the regular season came to a close.
Sanders, who has 19 carries in his last six games, is expected to start in 2018 should Barkley depart. But Robinson would have been a welcomed option, especially in short yardage. Without him, Penn State’s noteworthy backs outside of Sanders and Allen are speedy redshirt Journey Brown and 2018 commit Ricky Slade.
In Barbir’s case, the redshirt freshman spent 2017 as Tyler Davis’ backup. Barbir handled six kickoffs and put two of them out-of-bounds.
With Barbir now gone and Davis in his final year of eligibility, the starting placekicking job will be between returning walk-on kickers Carson Landis and Nick DeAngelis. The Nittany Lions also have a commitment from 2018 kicker Jake Pinegar, who could also factor in next season.