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Penn State football: James Franklin responds to KeAndre Lambert-Smith transfer portal exit reports

Following the Blue-White Game, James Franklin was asked about reports that Penn State WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith was considering a move to the transfer portal.



Penn State football, KeAndre Lambert-Smith, James Franklin, Blue-White Game, transfer portal
Sep 9, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith (1) walks off the field following an injury during the first quarter against the Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State football brought its spring practices to a close with the Blue-White Game inside Beaver Stadium Saturday afternoon. While multiple Nittany Lions flashed during the spring showcase, much attention is focused on the notable absence of KeAndre Lambert-Smith from the field. Following Saturday’s scrimmage, James Franklin addressed the media for the first time since reports surfaced that Penn State’s top wide receiver from 2023 was considering a move to the transfer portal.

James Franklin responds to KeAndre Lambert-Smith transfer portal reports

Reports surfaced late Friday afternoon that wide receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith had stepped away from the Penn State football program this week and was “strongly considering” entering the transfer portal. The senior wide out was not seen during the media’s practice viewing window on Tuesday evening.

However, Lambert-Smith was still listed on the Blue-White Game roster released by Penn State football Friday evening. Ultimately, the Virginia native was a no-show for the spring scrimmage, a contest won by the White squad, 27-0.

Following Saturday’s action, James Franklin was asked to clarify KeAndre Lambert-Smith’s standing with the Penn State football program. However, Franklin preffered to focus on those who participated in Saturday’s game.

“I’m really happy to talk about any of the guys that played in the game today and are in the locker room. Besides that, I don’t have a lot to tell you,” Franklin said.

KeAndre Lambert-Smith led all Penn State wide receivers with 673 yards and four scores in 2023, but his production dropped in the second half of the season, recording two receptions over the Nittany Lions’ final three games. Trey Wallace led all Penn State receivers in Saturday’s Blue-White Game with 5 receptions for 72 yards.

Franklin touts “flashes” from Penn State receiver during spring ball

KeAndre Lambert-Smith was among those believed to be potentially considering the transfer portal following December’s Peach Bowl loss to Ole Miss. However, Lambert-Smith ultimately decided to return to the Nittany Lions this winter.

The veteran pass catcher appeared to show improvement in a more competitive wide receiver room this spring, with James Franklin commending his progress as recently as last week.

“He’s shown some real flashes this spring. And I’m seeing them on a more consistent basis,” Franklin said. “I think Coach K’s [Andy Kotelnicki] done a really good job with him as well. They seem to have a really good relationship. I think Marques [Hagans] has done a really good job of developing relationships with the whole room. We need him to have a big year, and I’m seeing more consistency in the special plays and production.”

With Lambert-Smith likely headed to the transfer portal when the window opens on Tuesday at midnight, Franklin’s plea to his wide receiver room becomes increasingly important this offseason.

“I think the whole group, from what I’ve seen, is improved,” the Penn State football coach said in March. “…I still would like to see a group of guys really kind of separate themselves from the pack. I think the whole group has improved. But, I’d like to see a couple guys kind of kind of separate themselves and make it clearly obvious to everybody. I think we need a little bit more of that.”

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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