Penn State safety Lamont Wade makes a play on receiver K.J. Hamler during last April’s Blue-White Game at Beaver Stadium. PHOTO BY JOE HERMITT/PENNLIVE.COM via ASSOCIATED PRESS
The transfer portal got crowded quickly earlier this month, but it has since calmed down as players decide the next step.
Over the weekend, two players in Penn State’s portal announced 2019 destinations, and one of them might come as a little bit of a surprise for the doom-and-gloomers.
Safety Lamont Wade announced he is actually going to stay with the Nittany Lions for the upcoming season.
That’s that… See you guys in the National Championship ✌🏾 pic.twitter.com/89r3WOv6AS
— LaMontWade 🦍 (@Goony_38) January 28, 2019
Meanwhile, tackle Alex Gellerstedt will head a few hours south as a graduate transfer, signing on with Virginia.
— Alex Gellerstedt(@alexgellerstedt) January 27, 2019
Wade’s return drops the list of players who were on the Penn State roster in 2017 or 2018 to 17, and by my count, all but one — walk-on cornerback Jabari Butler — has made an announcement indicating either where they are transferring to, or that they do indeed plan to leave Penn State.
Here is the list of 14 scholarship players leaving:
- LB Manny Bowen – Utah*
- DE Torrence Brown – Southern Mississippi*
- WR Irvin Charles – Kicked off team (after 2017)
- TE Danny Dalton – Boston College*
- LB Dae’lun Darien – Delaware
- LB Brelin Faison-Walden – Charlotte
- OT Alex Gellerstedt – Virginia*
- SAF Isaiah Humphries – California
- OT Sterling Jenkins – Duquesne*
- WR Juwan Johnson – Announced*
- CB Zech McPhearson – Announced*
- LB Jarvis Miller – Massachusetts*
- SAF Ayron Monroe – Announced*
- WR Brandon Polk – Announced*
* Indicates graduate transfer
Here are the three walk-ons in the portal:
- LS Matt Aloni – Announced
- CB Jabari Butler
- WR Brandon Clark – Slippery Rock
It’s pretty clear that most of the scholarship players in the portal are leaving as graduate transfers. Take away the two players who weren’t on the 2018 roster (Bowen and Charles), and nine of the other 12 are grad transfers. Two of the three who aren’t – Darien and Faison-Walden – expressed a desire to move closer to home for family reasons.
As for Wade coming back, that’s a pretty big deal for Penn State, which only increases its competition for the starting spot at safety. Assuming Garrett Taylor is a lock to start after a strong 2018, it will probably come down to Jonathan Sutherland, Lackawanna College product JaQuan Brisker and Wade for playing time.