Could Penn State Football be adding yet another transfer?

Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Owen Carney Jr. (Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports)
Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Owen Carney Jr. (Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports) /

Penn State football has been active in adding players through the transfer portal and Lions 247 is reporting they have yet another target.

Penn State football has been as aggressive as any team in the country in adding talent from the transfer portal this offseason, already with four additions, and Lions 247 is reporting they may have their sights set on a fifth.

Andrew Ivins of 247 is reporting that Illinois defensive end Owen Carney tells 247sports that he has been in contact with Franklin and Penn State football since entering his name into the portal.

Carney also expressed he has been contacted by Florida State and Tennessee in that time, the Seminoles have been similarly as aggressive as the Nittany Lions, adding four players through the portal thus far, including most noticeably former UCF quarterback Mckenzie Milton.

It comes as no surprise that these big name schools are all after Carney for services, as the Miami Florida native was a second team All-Big Ten selection this season, tallying 27 total tackles and finishing third in the Big Ten in sacks with five and 11th in tackles for loss with seven. Carney has 9.5 sacks for his career at Illinois.

Even after adding former Temple defensive end Arnold Ebiketie last Thursday, Carney would make a lot of sense for Penn State football. Franklin directly mentioned looking to add defensive end and secondary help through the transfer portal a few weeks back when talking with the media. With Ebiketie in the mix and presumably a plug and play starter, that leaves the Lions with only sophomore Adisa Isaac, redshirt sophomore Nick Tarburton and redshirt freshman Smith Vilbert left on the depth chart at defensive end.  Among that trio, only Isaac has recorded a sack in their career.

Carney is a former three star recruit out of Miami Central High School in Miami, Florida and surprised many when he chose Illinois passing on in state offers from Florida State and Miami. Carney does not fit the mold of most of the players Franklin has gone after, as he did not receive an offer from Penn State football out of high school.

Running back John Lovett and cornerback John Dixon had offers from Penn State football while defensive tackle Derrick Tangelo never received an offer but did attend camps and take visits to Happy valley during his recruitment process. Defensive end Arnold Ebiketie also did not receive an offer from the Nittany Lions, but is a Maryland native which is a fertile recruiting ground for Franklin.

Carney attended camp at Florida State before committing to Illinois, so it would seem they might have an edge on the Nittany Lions. However that was a different coaching staff and the appeal of potentially staying within the Big Ten could work in Penn State Football’s favor.

Next. Ranking Penn State's QB options in transfer portal. dark