This offseason, James Franklin has prioritized former five-star high school recruits in the transfer portal, and on Thursday morning, he got a commitment from his third. Former Georgia cornerback, A.J. Harris committed to the Nittany Lions to reinforce a secondary losing Kalen King, Daequan Hardy, and Johnny Dixon to the NFL.
Harris spent just one season at Georgia and comes to Penn State with three years of eligibility remaining. He played in seven games for the Bulldogs and made eight tackles. The 6-foot-1 190-pound defensive back was buried on the depth chart in a loaded Georgia secondary but will have a chance to play right away in Happy Valley.
In the Peach Bowl, Penn State was forced to play without King and Dixon for the first time and the Rebels promptly threw for 394 yards. Cam Miller, who is projected to be the No. 1 cornerback next season, allowed seven completions on 12 targets for 120 yards.
Harris will be a massive upgrade on the outside for Tom Allen’s defense. Allen is taking over the No.1. defense in the country from Manny Diaz, but will be without a lot of Diaz's best players from the 2023 unit. Harris’s commitment was imminent after his visit last week and did not come as a surprise.
Franklin has now secured five incoming transfers, Harris, Julian Fleming, Nolan Rucci, Jordan Mayer, and Chase Meyer. Rucci, Fleming, and Harris were all five-star recruits out of high school, but all underwhelmed at their previous school.