The Transfer Portal giveth and the Transfer Portal taketh away.
Over the past few months, Penn State has lost a number of players. There were the regular graduates who exhausted eligibility, but there were also five early NFL entrants, and as many as 14 players transferring on their own accord. While most of the transfers weren't expected to be major contributors this coming season, it still hurt Penn State's depth and that is a huge factor in a team's success. Penn State will turn to the Transfer Portal to fill some of those holes, having already brought in former Florida State wide receiver George Campbell. Last week, James Franklin shared his intentions to add some more depth at receiver and along the offensive line. Let's take a look at who the Nittany Lions may have their eyes on.
Drew Richmond, Tennessee
James Franklin has history with Drew Richmond dating all the back to his time at Vanderbilt. Franklin offered then Tennessee native as a sophomore, making the Commodores one of the first schools to do so. Blossoming into a four-star prospect by 2015, he eventually chose in-state rival Tennessee. Now six years later, Franklin is again vying to earn his services, this time as a graduate transfer.
After taking a redshirt in 2015, Richmond has been a staple on the Volunteers offensive line for three seasons. He started 13 games at left tackle over his first two seasons, before starting all 12 games at right tackle last season.
Josh Wariboko-Alali, UCLA
The top player in Oklahoma and sixth-ranked guard nationally back in 2015, Wariboko-Alali drew interest from the Nittany Lions coming out of high school but ended up choosing UCLA. Now like so many other players, he's looking to get out of Chip Kelly's program.
Wariboko-Alali was never able to put it all together in Westwood, starting just two games in his career. He's appeared in 18 games over the past two seasons as a reserve. A fresh start could be good for JWA as he enters his final season of eligibility. Penn State has a guard spot seemingly wide open, which could be the perfect opportunity for to live up to the high expectations he had coming out of high school.
Thiyo Lukusa, Arizona
Although he didn't score a Penn State offer out of high school, Thiyo Lukusa first appeared on the Nittany Lions radar back in 2013 when he attended a camp under Bill O'Brien. The Michigan native moved to New Jersey for his senior season, before returning home and joining the Michigan State Spartans. He appeared in eight games as a true freshman.
Lukusa quit football after just one year in East Lansing, citing a loss for the love for the game. His retirement didn't last long though, as he joined the Arizona Wildcats for the following season but had to sit out the season under NCAA transfer rules. Lukusa started two games for the Wildcats in 2018, while incumbent starter Layth Friekh was suspended. He spent the rest of the season as a reserve. Although he was not in Penn State's recruiting footprint for very long, the Nittany Lions had to have been on his radar during his one season in Jersey. Getting a high-ceiling guy with two years of eligibility remaining like him would be a big win.
Eric Kumah, Virginia Tech
Penn State's receivers lacked the reliability needed to make big-time catches and Kumah would bring exactly that. One of Virginia Tech's starting wide receivers in 2018, Kumah decided to move on to bigger and better things after he learned that his position coach was moving on. He has an official visit scheduled to Penn State this coming weekend.
Kumah came out of high school as a middling three-star in 2016. He quickly established himself as a reliable, sure-handed receiver who excels with jump balls. At 6-3, 205 pounds he would compliment Jahan Dotson and KJ Hamler well. Kumah actually didn't land a Penn State offer in high school but Franklin is hoping an offer the second time around does the trick.
Sean Ryan, Temple
The Nittany Lions wouldn't have to venture too far if they were to target former Temple receiver, Sean Ryan. Ryan was born in Philadelphia but played his high school football in Brooklyn. He was paid a visit by Sean Spencer as a high school recruit, but nothing came out of the visit. The 6'3/185 lb. pass catcher ended up at Temple and made and played right away with the Owls. He put his name in the transfer portal after Geoff Collins left for Georgia Tech.
Ryan appeared in 11 games, catching 12 passes for 162 yards and one score. He also helped out on special teams. Collins' situation is a bit unique. If he were to transfer, one would have to imagine he would apply for a waiver to be able to play immediately. Tate Martell being granted a waiver after he transferred to Miami once Urban Meyer retired could have laid the groundwork for him to be eligible for 2019.
Weston Carr, Azusa Pacific University (D2)
The younger brother of former Northwestern wide receiver Austin Carr, Weston Carr is also one to watch. He has lit it up at D-2 Azusa Pacific University in California, earning first-team All American honors in 2017. He's recorded 3,005 receiving yards, 167 receptions, and 36 touchdowns in his career.
Tyler Donohue and Lions247 reported that Carr was on campus this past weekend for an official visit. According to Carr, he had walk-on opportunities at Boise State, Nevada, and Northwestern. Maybe Carr can follow in his brother's footsteps and light the B1G on fire.