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TRANSFER PORTAL

Penn State guard joins former coaching staff via transfer portal

The veteran guard will be reuniting with his former coach from Penn State.

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Penn State guard, former coaching staff, transfer portal
Jan 11, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Dallion Johnson (23) controls the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers during the first half at the Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

College basketball has been several years ahead of football in terms of transfers for quite some time. In recent years, loosening transfer portal restrictions and the infusion of NIL has increased the role of transfers in the sport. The portal has been a double-edged sword for Penn State basketball. The Nittany Lions’ 2023 NCAA Tournament run was built on transfers like All-American Jalen Pickett, Andrew Funk, Cam Wynter, and Mikey Henn. But since Micah Shrewsberry departed for Notre Dame, Penn State has seen many players from its roster hit the portal. Although new coach Mike Rhoades has been able to recruit some of these players to stay, he hasn’t been able to retain them all. Such was the case recently when Penn State guard Dallion Johnson joined the Nittany Lions’ former coaching staff from the transfer portal.

Johnson joined Penn State during a turbulent time

Veteran guard Dallion Johnson has seen a lot happen at Penn State in a very short time. A former three-star recruit and the No. 2 overall player out of Massachusetts in the class of 2020, Johnson committed to play for the former Penn State coaching staff under Pat Chambers. When Chambers resigned before the 2020 season, Johnson played his first season under interim coach Jim Ferry. He only scored 5 points in 15 minutes of action the entire year.

In his sophomore year, Johnson had another head coach. In Shrewsberry’s first year, Johnson averaged 3.7 PPG and shot 36.5% from beyond the arc. He played in 29 games and started the last 14. But in his junior season last year, Johnson only played in 23 games and averaged a mere 2 PPG. His three-point percentage was also down to 29.7%.

Penn State guard joins former coaching staff via the transfer portal

While he was eclipsed by transfers Andrew Funk and Cam Wynter last season, it did appear that Johnson would have a bigger role next year. However, when Micah Shrewsberry left for Notre Dame, Johnson decided a move was also in his best interest and entered the transfer portal in March. 

Earlier this month, Johnson decided to go full circle and rejoin his former coaching staff. On April 12, Johnson announced via Twitter that he was transferring to Florida Gulf Coast University, led by former Penn State head coach Pat Chambers. It was a logical move, given that Johnson had initially come to Happy Valley to play for Chambers. 

Overall, Johnson saw a lot of turnover on Penn State’s staff in such a short time. A chance of scenery and reunion with a coach who he has a rapport with may be just what his career needs. Hopefully, Johnson will find more stability and playing time in his new home.



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TRANSFER PORTAL

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 Football, Devyn Ford, Notre Dame
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.



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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TRANSFER PORTAL

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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TRANSFER PORTAL

Penn State football transfer portal loss announces next destination

A Penn State football transfer portal loss found a new home this week.

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Penn State football, transfer portal, Jaden Dottin, Big Ten, Toledo, MAC
Apr 23, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Jaden Dottin (19) runs with the ball as safety Jaylen Reed (7) attempts a tackle during the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. The defense defeated the offense 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, Jaden Dottin, a former wide receiver from the class of 2020 and Penn State football transfer portal loss, announced that he has found himself a new home with the University of Toledo in the MAC conference. This decision comes slightly over a month after the Nittany Lions’ spring game, which was held on April 15th at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State football transfer portal loss finds new home with Toledo in the MAC conference

Jaden Dottin initially committed to Penn State football as part of the 2020 recruiting class. However, he did not see much playing time during his three seasons in State College. He appeared in five games, making two catches for a total of 14 yards, with his longest reception being nine yards. In 2022, Dottin made his first career start against the Ohio Bobcats from the MAC conference in Week 2.

As a high school recruit, Jaden Dottin was considered a three-star composite recruit and was ranked as the No. 93 wide receiver in the nation. He was also ranked as the No. 5 recruit in Connecticut. Notably, he did not receive a national ranking.

In an announcement on Thursday, the former Penn State football wide receiver revealed that he has found a new team in the MAC conference through the transfer portal. Dottin shared yesterday that he will be joining the Toldeo Rockets for the upcoming 2023 season. This transfer appears to be a fair exchange, as Penn State recently acquired a top wide receiver from the MAC, Dante Cephas, via the transfer portal as well.



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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