There are many areas where James Franklin deserves criticism, but he’s excelled at keeping his team together. In an era where player movement is rampant, Franklin has only lost four players to the transfer portal in the 2024 offseason, and they are all losses that his team can survive.
The transfer portal window closed on Saturday at midnight and the four former Nittany Lions who are looking for new schools are wide receiver Christian Driver, punter Alex Bacchetta, defensive lineman Jake Wilson, and the most recent addition, wide receiver Dante Cephas.
Cephas was benched in the Peach Bowl against Ole Miss and didn’t see any playing time despite Penn State’s lack of depth at the position. Cephas was brought in from Kent State to solve that problem last offseason, but is leaving the program and was a one-for-one swap with former five-star wide receiver Julian Fleming.
Franklin brought in Fleming, who was the No. 1 player from the state of Pennsylvania in the class of 2020, after four seasons at Ohio State.
Cephas and Wilson are still searching for a landing spot, but Driver and Bacchetta have already found their new home. Driver, who caught one pass for eight yards as a freshman in 2023, has signed with Minnesota, and Bacchetta is headed to Rice.
Penn State adding more transfers
First, Franklin signed kicker Chase Meyer from Tulsa, but last week, he finally made a splash by signing Fleming, who is likely to be Drew Allar’s No. 1 target next season. Over the weekend, he made another addition signing Nolan Rucci from Wisconsin.
Rucci, the former five-star offensive tackle, was the No. 1 player in PA in the 2021 recruiting cycle. With his addition, Penn State now has the No. 1 player from the state in each of the last five classes, Fleming, Rucci, Nick Singleton, J’ven Williams, and Quinton Martin.
All indications are Penn State isn’t done adding. Franklin was targeting two former five-star cornerbacks A.J. Harris from Georgia and Tony Grimes from Texas A&M. Harris is expected to make his commitment official soon, but Grimes committed to Michigan State.