11 Penn State Football Players Enter Transfer Portal
It seems that the end of the Trace McSorley era brought up concerns for other Nittany Lions players regarding next season. Five players are entering the NFL draft, while 11 others have reportedly entered the transfer portal. These moves will surely leave behind some question marks on the depth chart.
In the three weeks following the Citrus Bowl loss to Kentucky, 11 Penn State football players, including wide receivers Juwan Johnson and Brandon Polk, and defensive backs Ayron Monroe and former 5-star recruit Lamont Wade, have announced their entrance into the NCAA transfer portal.
The other players entered into the portal include linebackers Dae’lun Darien and Brelin Faison-Walden, cornerback Zech McPhearson, safety Isaiah Humphries, offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins, offensive lineman Alex Gellerstedt and tight end Danny Dalton.
The transfer portal, a term that the college football world has heard many times this offseason, allows for other schools to openly recruit players already on rosters and gives the player the choice if they want to transfer schools. However, it does not necessarily mean the player is 100 percent leaving.
Veteran receivers Johnson and Polk both did not have the season anyone expected, with a mix of dropped passes and poor route running affecting their spot on the depth chart. Now that the season is over, they look to take their talents elsewhere.
Freshman wide receivers Justin Shorter and Jahan Dotson worked their way up the depth chart this year and could replace Johnson and Polk next season.
Some players, such as Monroe, have personally expressed their reasons for leaving via social media. Others have given no more comment aside from their intent to finish their academic and athletic career at another institution.
Even with the number of veterans leaving the program, head coach James Franklin still has the sixth ranked recruiting class in his rising sophomores, and the 11th ranked recruiting class coming to State College in the upcoming semesters, according to 247sports.com.
The question marks on the depth chart will be filled with talent this offseason, as many younger players have already began to prove themselves.
Freshman running back and former 5-star recruit Ricky Slade played in nine games during the 2018 season and ran for six touchdowns. He is next up to replace Miles Sanders.
Shorter and Dotson, along with two more freshmen wide receivers Daniel George and Mac Hippenhammer, look to all earn a full-time spot on the field next season.
Redshirt freshman KJ Hamler was a dynamic playmaker for the Lions this season as a returner and a receiver. He was a finalist for the Paul Hornung award which is given to the most versatile player in college football.
Freshmen Pat Freiermuth and Micah Parsons have already proven their talent on the field this season. ESPN named both Freiermuth and Parsons to their Freshman All-American Team.
With such a young team taking the field for the Nittany Lions next season, there is bound to be growth as the team begins to make a new name for themselves without McSorley.
Next season’s home opener at Beaver Stadium is scheduled for Saturday August 31 against the University of Idaho.
Patrick Arnold is a freshman at Penn State University studying Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.