5 Options for Penn State Football to replace Lamont Wade including from transfer portal

Penn State Nittany Lions safety Lamont Wade (Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)
Penn State Nittany Lions safety Lamont Wade (Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Penn State Football senior safety Lamont Wade announced via Twitter Thursday night he will be declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft, foregoing his last year of eligibility.

Penn State Football Senior safety Lamont Wade announced Thursday night he will be entering the 2021 NFL Draft and forego his final year of eligibility.

The Nittany Lions got good news Monday when safety Jaquan Brisker announced he will return for his final year next fall, however with Wade out of the fold they will have a hole to fill in the secondary.

Last season, Penn State football’s defense ranked third in the Big Ten last season in passing yards allowed per game, with 198 yards per, however struggled at times early in the season, especially in the teams biggest matchup with Ohio State. Maryland also had their way with the Nittany Lions secondary early in their week 3 matchup as well.

Coach James Franklin and defensive coordinator Brent Pry will need to figure out how to replace Wade in the secondary. The options that are currently on the roster lack legitimate experience, bringing up the question of whether or not the transfer portal could be in play yet again for Penn State football.

Franklin did specifically mention defensive ends and defensive backs as targets for Penn State football in the portal this offseason. So far, Franklin and the Nittany Lions have landed a defensive end and a cornerback, and now with Wade officially gone, a safety would make sense.

Let’s take a deeper dive into five options who could be replacing the Clairton native, between three players currently on the roster and two potential fits via the transfer portal.

Ji’Ayir Brown

Brown might be the most obvious choice for replacing Wade at Safety next season, after Brown saw a lot of action this season as the third safety in the rotation.

Brown only totaled six tackles and one pass breakup, and unfortunately his most memorable moment may have come in the Ohio State game, when he ran onto the field late and confused after a timeout, while his man strolled wide open into the end zone for a touchdown.

The New Jersey native was the 18th ranked JUCO player in the country in the 2020 class according to 247 sports. He attended Lackawanna Community College just as Brisker did, and would be interesting to see the two LCC guys patrolling the back end of the defense.

At six-foot and 203 pounds he fits the bill of a  power five safety and could be in line to be the starter next season opposite of Jaquan Brisker.