The Penn State football program welcomed a number of new faces on Tuesday.
Head coach James Franklin presided over the Lions’ first team meeting in 2021 at the Lasch Building, and in addition to seven January enrollees from the high school ranks, seven other pickups were also announced to kick off the year.
At least four of the players will be on scholarship, as back John Lovett (formerly at Baylor), end Arnold Ebiketie (Temple), defensive tackle Derrick Tangelo (Duke), and corner Johnny Dixon (South Carolina) all come to State College after entering the NCAA’s transfer portal following the 2020 season.
“I’m very pleased with how our players have handled it,” Franklin said when asked about the transfer portal on Monday. “I’m very pleased with how my staff has handled it. A lot of conversations that have happened with players and their parents in our program — when players leave our program, whether it’s going to the NFL or deciding to enter the transfer portal — and then same thing with the players that we’re going to bring in.
“Again, this is us embracing the new model of college football and finding a way to make the best of it. That’s what’s right for Penn State.”
- More: James Franklin’s plan for Penn State’s 2021 offense includes more tempo, conflict and, yes, more points
On Twitter, Penn State also announced that former Colgate punter Barney Amor, onetime Shippensburg receiver Winston Eubanks, and Class of 2020 Wyoming Area safety Dominic DeLuca are all now a part of the team, too.
It’s been just a month since the Lions finished a 4-5 season with a win over Illinois, but plenty has transpired since. Pat Freiermuth, Shaka Toney, and Jayson Oweh have all declared for the NFL Draft, while Jahan Dotson, Tariq Castro-Fields, Rasheed Walker, and Jaquan Brisker have elected to return. Finally, defensive tackles Antonio Shelton and Judge Culpepper plus quarterback Micah Bowens have all found new homes (Florida, Toledo, and Oklahoma, respectively) via the transfer portal. Let’s not forget, either, that Mike Yurcich is in as the new offensive coordinator, as he’ll replace Kirk Ciarrocca.
Penn State opens the 2021 season next September at Wisconsin.