Micah Shrewsberry walked into a tough spot at Penn State with six players already in the transfer portal, but the new coach has met face to face with those players and is hopeful some or all of them will stick around.
Shrewsberry appeared on the “Penn State Coaches Show” Thursday night and was asked by Steve Jones about the portal situation.
“The guys that are here, it’s all new to them, and I’m brand new to them,” Shrewsberry said. “We’ve had a chance to have face-to-face meetings, we’ve had a lot of phone calls, we’ve had a lot of FaceTime, and we’re building that relationship.
“I’m hopeful, and I have my fingers crossed that the guys feel the same way about me that I feel about them. And I told them all, I want ’em all back. I want every single one of you guys back, because I know how talented they were, and I know how close knit of a bond that they had.”
The players in the portal are: Myreon Jones, Izaiah Brockington, Seth Lundy, John Harrar, Jamari Wheeler and Trent Buttrick. Those were six of the top eight players on the team this season. The only other key contributors who have not entered the portal are Myles Dread and Sam Sessoms.
As an assistant coach at Purdue, Shrewsberry said he was able to see “up close and personal how hard (the Lions) play.”
He hopes to be able to use the group’s tight-knight bond as a reason for the guys to stay.
“There’s something special, and you can’t always find that same bond in a different locker room,” the coach said. “You may not have that same role in a different locker. And you know you can have that here.
“It’s a blank slate for me, an open book, and everybody is brand new and I’m brand new to them. I have to do what’s, what’s best for Penn State, and at the end of the day, all of my decisions go toward what’s best for Penn State.
“If those guys choose — I said I want what’s best for them — and if they choose or they decide that Penn State’s not the best thing for them, then we’ll move on. I’ll wish ’em the best, but we’ll move on and find guys that really fit what we want to do and are ready to contribute right away. Because there are so many people in the transfer portal, and there are good players in the transfer portal, so, we’ll find the right guys for us, and we’ll be ready to go this summer, this fall and when the season starts.”
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