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Central Pennsylvania football player announces he plans to transfer out of Penn State

DEREK LEVARSE
(Wilkes-Barre) Times-Leader (TNS)
Damion Barber

When Penn State players do return to campus to being workouts, possibly later this month, they will do so without Damion Barber.

The reserve defensive tackle from Harrisburg announced Monday he had entered his name in the NCAA’s online transfer portal and will begin looking for a new school.

“Growing up as a kid from Harrisburg it was always a dream to play here at Penn State,” Barber wrote on social media. “I succeeded that dream and have loved my time here at the university. I want to thank everyone who has supported me through my time here, I made so many friends and countless memories.

“I also want to give a special thanks to Coach (James) Franklin & the rest of the staff for taking a chance on me and letting me fulfill my dream out of high school. That being said, right now i feel as though the best chance for me and my career is to enter the transfer portal and continue my journey. Thank you Nittany Nation and WE ARE!”

Barber is heading into his redshirt junior year and would likely need to sit out next season if he elects to transfer to another FBS program, leaving him with one year of eligibility. He would be immediately eligible to play at the FCS level.

A former three-star recruit, Barber played sparingly the past two seasons after redshirting upon arriving in 2017. He appeared in eight games last fall after being suspended for the opener for a violation of team rules.

Though the coronavirus pandemic canceled all of the Nittany Lions’ spring practices, the team released a depth chart in April that had Barber as a third-teamer.

His biggest news has come off the field, as last year he was named a defendant in a civil suit filed by former teammate Isaiah Humphries. The former Lions safety alleged he was a target of hazing by multiple Penn State players, naming Barber as the chief instigator.

Barber has denied the allegations. Penn State said Humphries claims have been investigated by local and university police, with no criminal charges filed. Both sides continue to spar through legal proceedings.

The Lions head into 2020 with senior returning starter Antonio Shelton at one tackle spot and junior PJ Mustipher expected to start next to him, replacing Robert Windsor, a sixth-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in April.

Junior Fred Hansard and sophomore Judge Culpepper were listed as the second-teamers on the spring depth chart, followed by redshirt freshman Hakeem Beamon.