Penn State football: Grading James Franklin’s past transfer portal additions by year

The best teams in the country are dominating the transfer portal. James Franklin isn't, is that why Penn State isn't one of the best teams in the country?
Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Dante Cephas (3)
Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Dante Cephas (3) / Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
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Penn State Transfer Portal grade. F. Incoming: 7. Outgoing: 12. 2023


  • Dante Cephas, WR (Kent State)
  • Storm Duck, DB (UNC)
  • Alonzo Ford, DL (Old Dominion)
  • Riley Thompson, P (FAU)
  • Malik McClain, WR (FSU)
  • Trey Potts, RB (Minnesota)
  • Audavion Collins, DB (Mississippi State)

This is where things really start to go south for Franklin in the transfer portal. Frankly, it’s a surprise that Penn State was able to win 10 games in the regular season in 2023 considering this transfer portal cycle. Yes, that’s a testament to Franklin’s great high school recruiting, but it is also a reflection of how poor the rest of the Big Ten was. 

Penn State desperately needed a wide receiver and Franklin brought in two, but neither panned out. Cephas was the No. 2 receiver in 2023, but that was purely out of necessity, his performance did not warrant 351 snaps. 

The Kent State transfer caught 22 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 1.31 yards per route run, which ranked 326th in the country among eligible receivers. Malik McClain only caught six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, so he was even worse. 

Trey Potts ran the ball 23 times and was obviously stuck behind Kaytron Allen and Nick Singelton on the depth chart. He did average 6.3 yards per rush and scored twice, but was not a factor in any meaningful game. 

Now, the defensive transfers. Storm Duck transferred away before the summer and nearly contributed as much as Collins and Ford. Collins led this triad of transfers in snaps this season with two.

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