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Why is Penn State’s new transfer running back so important?

Penn State football landed a much-needed transfer running back yesterday evening.

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New transfer running back, Trey Potts, Penn State football
© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

Yesterday evening, the Nittany Lions landed a massive grab from the college football transfer portal. Running back Trey Potts — a senior from the Minnesota Golden Gophers — will be joining the 2023 Penn State football roster this fall. The new addition is a fantastic one for James Franklin and his team this spring, and is a profound addition that fits a major need heading into the home opener against West Virginia.

Penn State football: Why is the Lions’ new transfer running back addition so important?

Like last year, Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen — Penn State’s two rising sophomore running backs — will take over for the Lions’ in the backfield. With both players having crucial experience from the 2022 season, the Penn State football running back duo will be relied on to help carry the Nittany Lions’ young offense just as it was a season ago. That being said, unlike last year’s running back room, Penn State needed a key element heading into 2023: depth.

Being a running back in the Big Ten is a tough job; it’s physical, violent, and takes a toll on one’s body. For some of the nation’s top rushing programs — such as the Michigan Wolverines — having depth is essential to see offensive success, which is why those programs carry no less than three capable backs at any given time. After the 2022 season, former Penn State football running back Keyvone Lee decided to transfer out, which left a massive hole for Penn State in two areas: the Lions were down a much-needed RB3, and were left without a veteran running back heading into 2023.

Luckily for Penn State football, there was a solid veteran running back (and PA native) in the transfer portal; on Wednesday night, he officially committed to come to State College for the 2023 season.

Penn State lands Trey Potts from the portal

Last night, four-year Minnesota running back Trey Potts officially announced that he is coming home to Pennsylvania to finish his career with the Penn State football team. Potts has been around the Big Ten for a few years — seeing action with the Gophers from 2019-2022 — and brings a much-needed presence to Penn State’s running back room.

Potts even has experience playing against his home state Penn State Nittany Lions; in 2019, his Gophers upset Penn State in Minneapolis. In 2022, the Lions returned the favor with a blowout win (45-17) over Minnesota in the White Out game.

Getting a transfer portal running back with great talent was massive for Penn State football ahead of the fall opener; the addition of Trey Potts will make the Nittany Lions’ offense even deadlier in 2023. When the elite duo of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen need a break, a veteran Big Ten back will come in and flash his speed, power, and catching ability.



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