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Penn State football lands Big Ten transfer portal running back

The Nittany Lions picked up at PA native and Big Ten transfer running back on Wednesday night.

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Big Ten transfer running back, Penn State football
Nov 26, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Trey Potts (3) rushes with the football during the first quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a busy month for the Penn State Nittany Lions, who are still hot on the recruiting trail this spring. On Wednesday night, the Penn State football team landed another great addition to the 2023 roster: Big Ten transfer running back Trey Potts of the Minnesota Golden Gophers is now a Nittany Lion.

Penn State football adds Big Ten transfer running back ahead of 2023 season

Trey Potts will be heading into his fifth season of action this fall after spending the past four years with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Potts was one of Minnesota’s top running backs during his few seasons in Minneapolis, carrying the ball 232 times over the span of 22 games for 1,147 yards and ten touchdowns.

As a Big Ten transfer running back, Potts knows what it takes to play smashmouth football in the Big Ten and has already experienced the infamous Penn State football white out game during the Gophers’ 2022 loss in State College (45-17). He is also a proficient punt and kick returner and has good hands for a running back.

To make the deal sweeter for Penn State football fans, the Nittany Lions’ new Big Ten transfer running back is also a native of Pennsylvania — he is from the Williamsport Area, which sits around an hour east of State College, PA.

With spring ball starting to come to a close, Potts is an excellent addition to the 2023 Penn State football roster and should find himself a solid depth role as the Nittany Lions chase a Big Ten title and more this fall.



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FOOTBALL

James Franklin is pleased with new Penn State football transfer portal addition

James Franklin says a new Penn State football transfer portal addition is standing out so far.

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Penn State football, transfer portal, Dante Cephas, James Franklin
Apr 15, 2023; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin walks off the field following the competition of the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. The Blue team defeated the White team 10-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Earlier today, James Franklin and the Nittany Lions’ coaching staff had some time to speak with the media ahead of summer camp in Happy Valley. With the team’s newest signees suiting up and on campus now, it comes as little surprise to fans and the media that a new Penn State football transfer portal addition is already standing out during his short period in the Blue and White.

New Penn State football transfer portal addition already standing out

According to Penn State head coach James Franklin, the Nittany Lions have a star in Dante Cephas, a new Penn State football transfer portal addition. Cephas is headed to State College after spending four years with the Kent State Golden Flashes, a member of the Mid-American Conference.

Cephas brings a large frame, quick hands, great footwork, and a fast release to the table for the Blue and White. He is expected to be a valuable weapon for Penn State quarterback Drew Allar, who many assume will be the Nittany Lions’ starter in Week 1 against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Today, James Franklin delved into what makes Dante Cephas special and shared his observations so far.

James Franklin breaks down Cephas

Below is just some of what the Nittany Lions’ head coach, James Franklin, had to say about Dante Cephas and his abilities thus far in the Blue and White. It’s important to note that these comments were made shortly after Cephas arrived on campus and before summer ball, but indications are that there are great things ahead for this new addition to the Penn State football transfer portal.

“He tested well in our initial testing,” James Franklin said earlier today during Penn State’s media availability. “I do think this level of training, no knock to anybody else or other programs or other schools, I do think this is different for him. And I think, in a lot of ways, that’s exciting because the lifting in the running is at a very different level. And I think his body really has a chance to explode and develop over the time that hopefully we have him. So far, so good.”

Dante Cephas has been receiving significant national attention since joining Penn State after the 2022 season. Just this week, he was recognized as a top Big Ten transfer by CBS Sports and was ranked among the top three wide receivers in the Big Ten by Pro Football Focus. It’s clear that Cephas is off to a strong start in the Blue and White.



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Former Penn State football standout commits to Notre Dame

Ford becomes the latest Nittany Lion from across several sports that Penn State has lost to the Irish this offseason.

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Penn State's Devyn Ford (28) rushes the ball into the end zone Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Penn State football running back room has been in flux over the last year. In less than 12 months, the running backs on the Nittany Lions’ roster have almost completely turned over. But as Penn State fans look forward to the leaps that rising sophomores Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen could make in 2023, several former Nittany Lion running backs are finding their new homes. One of these former tailbacks, Devyn Ford, recently announced that he is transferring to Notre Dame.

Penn State running back room changes hands

Penn State’s running backs have been getting a lot of attention recently. The emergence of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen as freshmen last year took the team from 7-6 to 11-2 and a Rose Bowl victory. Penn State added to its talented running back room when they got Trey Potts from Minnesota via the transfer portal this winter.

But there must be out with the old when there is in with the new. Penn State lost Caziah Holmes, who is originally from Florida, to Florida State before last season. Noah Cain also went back to his home state after the 2021 season. Cain played for his hometown LSU Tigers and scored 10 touchdowns last season. After the 2022 season, Penn State running back Keyvone Lee transferred to Mississippi State. Lee was Penn State’s workhorse back during the 2021 season. Lee also had one of the biggest plays of Penn State’s Rose Bowl campaign season, catching a last-minute touchdown pass from Sean Clifford to beat Purdue. 

During the middle of last season, Devyn Ford, another veteran Penn State running back, left the team and later entered the transfer portal. After remaining in the portal throughout spring, Ford recently announced where he’ll be playing football this fall. 

Devyn Ford transfers to Notre Dame

On Friday, Devyn Ford announced that he is transferring to Notre Dame. Ford was rated as a four-star by 247Sports in 2019 and ranked as the country’s fifth-best running back. He was joined by Noah Cain, another four-star in 2019, and was supposed to be a two-headed snake in the backfield. Although both had some success in Happy Valley, neither experienced the production that I think many fans hoped for on signing day.

Ford had 769 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns in his four years at Penn State. By far, Ford’s most successful years were 2019 and 2020. The Stafford, Virginia native had 324 and 298 all-purpose yards in 2019 and 2020, respectively. But Ford only played in 12 games over the past two seasons. As Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen surged, Ford only appeared in four games last season. Ford was primarily used in pass protection and only recorded 68 total yards.

Recently when Penn State fans talk about a player transferring to Notre Dame, you’d likely assume they’re talking about basketball. Kebba Njie, Penn State basketball’s second-highest-rated recruit ever, transferred to Notre Dame to follow former Nittany Lions coach Micah Shrewsberry. All of Penn State basketball’s commitments in the 2023 class also followed Shrewsberry to South Bend. But now with Ford’s decision, a Penn State football player will be suiting up for the Fighting Irish next season as well.



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Penn State football takes the lead for new transfer portal target

The Nittany Lions appear to be in great shape to lock down another transfer portal target.

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Penn State football, transfer portal target, Josh Wallace, UMass
© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

We are less than 100 days away from the kickoff of the 2023 Penn State football season. In anticipation of the new season, the Nittany Lions are still trying to finalize their impressive roster, ensuring there is depth and talent at every position. Today, Penn State’s coaching staff extended a new offer to a former three-star cornerback from Maryland: transfer portal target Josh Wallace from UMass.

Penn State football trending for new transfer portal target

Today, Penn State football added a new transfer portal target to its recruiting board: former three-star UMass commit, Josh Wallace, a cornerback from Bowie, MD. Since Wallace entered the transfer portal, he has garnered substantial regional attention, most recently catching the eye of the Nittany Lions’ coaching staff.

Josh Wallace, Penn State’s new transfer portal target, is a 6-foot tall, 190-pound defensive back who initially committed to UMass during the 2019 recruiting cycle. Throughout his four years with the Minutemen, Wallace gained valuable experience, which has made him a top Power Five transfer portal target now that he is in the portal.

So far in his career, he has been voted a team captain at UMass and was also a second-team All-Independent honoree. During his most recent season in 2022, Wallace appeared in 12 games, making 41 tackles (3 TFL), one fumble recovery, two interceptions, and eight pass breakups.

Following today’s new offer, Penn State football is now the frontrunner for Wallace’s commitment, according to the ON3 Recruiting Prediction Machine, which gives the Nittany Lions the best odds of landing this transfer portal cornerback. The Nittany Lions currently have a solid defensive backfield, although depth has been a slight concern throughout the spring.

Penn State added a transfer portal cornerback earlier this spring, but it seems that the Lions are still not satisfied with their depth and are looking for more options and experience heading into the summer.



Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at basicbluesnation@gmail.com or direct message us on our social media. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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