03 May

Penn State’s top WR exits, limiting options for QB Drew Allar

Penn State receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith has entered the transfer portal as a graduate, he announced Monday. Lambert-Smith ranks as the most experienced wide receiver in the Big Ten with 38 starts to his name.

Lambert-Smith led the Nittany Lions with 53 catches for 673 yards and four touchdowns in 2023 and was the only wide receiver on the team to post more than 250 yards receiving. Across his 48-game career, Lambert-Smith posted 1,721 yards and 11 touchdowns at Penn State. Over his final two seasons, PSU posted a 21-5 record with two New Year’s Six appearances.

Wide receiver has quickly become a top priority for teams in the transfer portal. 247Sports’ Chris Hummer lists wide receiver as a top need for 16 power-conference programs, including Clemson, Michigan and USC. With the transfer portal set to officially open on Tuesday, Lambert-Smith becomes the early frontrunner for best player available at wide receiver.

Ironically, Penn State ranked among the programs that needed the most help in the transfer portal at wide receiver. The Nittany Lions averaged just 215 passing yards per game with former five-star quarterback Drew Allar under center; three of the top four receiving leaders on the roster were running backs or tight ends.

The Nittany Lions were aggressive early, nabbing former blue-chip recruit Julian Fleming from Ohio State. New offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki also remains an expert at using misdirection to free receivers in space. However, the rest of the team is notably bare of proven talent.

Penn State could quickly turn to the transfer portal itself to find new options at receiver when the window opens on Tuesday. Getting Allar some proven commodities should be top priority for James Franklin and his staff heading into perhaps his most important season at Penn State.

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