Right Guard CJ Thorpe Enters the NCAA Transfer Portal

By Dan Smith on January 7, 2021 at 12:36 pm
Nov 28, 2020; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Keyvone Lee (24) receives congratulations from Penn State Nittany Lions offensive lineman C.J. Thorpe (69) after scoring a touchdown in the first half against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State senior right guard CJ Thorpe has entered the NCAA transfer portal and announced he intends to play along the defensive line to close out his collegiate career.

Thorpe was initially a recruit during the 2017 cycle, joining with fellow offensive linemen Mike Miranda and Des Holmes. Thorpe redshirted in 2017 and played sparingly in a reserve role in 2018. He also spent time at defensive tackle that season. By the time 2019 rolled around, Thorpe saw his playing time increase, as he entered into a platoon with Miranda at right guard.

This led to the pair taking both starting guard positions to begin the 2020 season, with Miranda moving to the left side and Thorpe sticking on the right. However, it became clear early on that the offensive line was struggling, and they began shuffling the lineup. They found more success with Will Fries moving to right guard and Caedan Wallace sliding in at right tackle, and by the end of the season, Thorpe was no longer part of the offensive line rotation. It is unclear if injuries or illness impacted Thorpe at all, but even before he stopped appearing in games, his playing time was decreasing.

Thorpe would have been a redshirt senior in 2021 and is going to be immediately eligible should he follow through on transferring.

For Penn State, there is uncertainty on the interior part of the offensive line heading into the 2021 season, though there are options for head coach James Franklin and offensive line coach Phil Trautwein to choose from. Miranda will start somewhere, possibly at center if not at his current left guard position. Redshirt junior Juice Scruggs will also have a good chance to take a starting position at guard or center. Beyond that, it is likely that redshirt senior Des Holmes and redshirt sophomore Sal Wormley will compete for a starting role.