Penn State loses another wide receiver to the transfer portal: Are there any available to replace him?

Malik McClain was one of five players who left Penn State on the final day of the spring transfer portal window. It's late in the game, but there are still options out in the portal as replacements if James Franklin gets aggressive.
West Virginia v Penn State
West Virginia v Penn State / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The final day of the spring transfer portal window became something of a mass exodus at Penn State. No, nothing on the scale of Coach’s Prime’s first year in Colorado, and James Franklin likely won’t be trolling his former players on social media anytime soon, but still, five portal departures in a day is notable for a program that has had a relatively quiet offseason. 

The transfer portal officially closed on May 1, but it can take about 48 hours for the paperwork to go through, so it took until May 2, for the list of Nittany Lions leaving Happy Valley to come to light. The headliner was 2023 four-star safety King Mack, who only played 70 defensive snaps as a true freshman, but he was joined by offensive lineman Golden Israel-Achumba, running backs David Yencry Jr. and London Montgomery, and wide receiver Malik McClain. 

From that second group of departures, McClain is the most notable loss and at a position of desperate need for Penn State. After transferring to Penn State from Florida State, the 6-foot-4 200-pound receiver caught six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown but played sparingly despite the Nittany Lion’s obvious lack of depth on the outside. 

Since last season, Penn State has added Julian Fleming to the wide receiver room and watched KeAndre Lambert-Smith, Dante Cephas, Malick Meiga, Christian Driver, and McClain. While a former five-star from Pennsylvania who was under-utilized in Columbus, Fleming, the Ohio State castoff, won’t be enough to help Drew Allar and Andy Kotelnicki’s offense take down the Buckeyes who are the favorites to win the Big Ten next season. 

While entry into the transfer portal is closed, there are still plenty of players who are available and a few wide receivers who could fit on James Franklin’s roster. Judging from his lack of activity in the portal this offseason, Franklin is unlikely to make a big splash, but for those hopeful Penn State fans, here are three of the best available transfer portal wide receivers. 

player. Raymond Cottrell. 6'3" 210 lbs. Raymond Cottrell Jr.. . 528. Eligibility Remaining: 4 years. . Raymond Cottrell Jr.. WR

Penn State is desperate to add talent at wide receiver, maybe even desperate enough to target Cottrell. There aren’t many options for Andy Kotelnicki to add receivers, let alone the super-sized wideouts he loves for his offensive system. 

Cottrell played in one game as a true freshman for Texas A&M last season and after transferring to Kentucky this winter, is back in the portal looking for his third school in two years. Franklin typically stays away from players like Cottrell who are obvious flight risks, but the situation at receiver is dire enough that Penn State may need to bet on his high school pedigree as a 2023 four-star. 

Elijhah Badgers, WR. player. 6'2" 190 lbs. Eligibility Remaining: 1 year. Elijhah Badgers. . . Elijhah Badgers, WR. WR. 512

Last season was a rough one for Arizona State, but Badgers was a bright spot. Once the rising senior realized that Jaden Rashada, ASU’s young quarterback was leaving for Georgia, he decided to head for greener pastures as well. 

Penn State could be a good landing spot for the veteran receiver who put up 713 yards and three touchdowns last season and led the Sun Devils in receiving each of the past two years. 

Joseph Griffin Jr.. Joseph Griffin. . Joseph Griffin Jr.. . 6'3" 199 lbs. Eligibility Remaining: 2 years. 431. player. WR

Boston College hasn’t been known for its dynamic offenses over the past two years, so the fact that Griffin has been able to produce in his freshman and sophomore seasons is very impressive. With his size, he fits the mold of Kotelnicki’s receivers, as did McClain, so he’d be an excellent replacement and upgrade. 

At his size, Griffin is an impressive route-runner with an instinctual ability to high-point the ball and turn 50/50s into 60/40s, which is something Allar desperately needed last season. He’s the best possible fit in the Penn State offense, even if he doesn’t profile as a slot receiver, which is currently missing.

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