Penn State Football: James Franklin Reveals Transfer Portal Strategy

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NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

The latest news, insight, and analysis of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, and Penn State Basketball, including schedules, game results, analysis of breaking news, rumors, speculation, and recruiting coverage of future Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home to the latest Penn State Nittany Lions news, updates, insight, and analysis, including in-depth coverage of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball, and much more

Penn State Football: James Franklin Gives Update on Transfer Portal Approach

The transfer portal remains a key focus for Penn State Football this offseason.

During a press conference Friday, Penn State head coach James Franklin took the opportunity to address the Nittany Lions‘ transfer portal strategy after a question on how Penn State was using the portal.

Franklin began by noting that Penn State is “not a huge portal team, but we do it.”

Franklin: “We’re not a huge transfer portal team, but we do it”

— Penn State FB Thoughts (@PSU_FB_Thoughts) December 15, 2023

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Transfer Portal Strategy Coming into Focus for Penn State Football

Franklin elaborated that Penn State, in both recruiting and the portal, tries to “under promise and over deliver.”

That messaging from Franklin and staff includes not promising starting positions to both keep players out of the portal or get commitments from transfer portal targets.

Instead, Penn State only promises that players will be able to come in and compete for playing time, the same that Franklin promises to every recruit and player on the roster.

Franklin: Not making promises in the portal. Promises you will be able to come in and compete but not starting positions.

— Penn State FB Thoughts (@PSU_FB_Thoughts) December 15, 2023

Franklin noted that he will not “change [his] values and morals” to get players to commit, even though it has cost Penn State players in the past, both as recruits and for Penn State players entering the portal.

Franklin on transfer portal: Look to the portal to gain experience at certain positions, similar how JUCO used to be used throughout college football. Other areas, look to boost competition in a room.

— Penn State FB Thoughts (@PSU_FB_Thoughts) December 15, 2023

How James Franklin, Penn State Football Staff Utilize Transfer Portal

Franklin also further clarified how Penn State Football uses the portal, which happens in two main areas.

First, Penn State has been using the portal to gain experience at certain positions.

Franklin described this as similar to how JUCO prospects were used in the past, to bring experience into a room that is young but has potential.

On the other hand, Penn State also has used the portal to boost competition in a room that may not have the amount of young potential that other rooms have for the team.

What this means for Penn State?

Franklin’s portal strategy can be good for his morals and staying true to his word, but it has and will hurt the team’s overall performance in the transfer portal era.

High-end transfer targets are being promised starting positions (and much more) by other top teams around the country, and a refusal to entertain a similar offer at Penn State will push Penn State out of the running for many elite portal targets that could boost Penn State’s roster into a championship contender.

If Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia, and Alabama are making these promises, Penn State cannot hope to compete for high end talent with those teams and will be relegated back to second tier taking the leftovers after the elites gobble up game-changing talent.

Time will tell if Penn State’s roster development and “loyalty” pay off, but for now, Lions fans can expect to watch top targets choose other top 10 programs promising starting positions.

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