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Penn State Football

Transfer Portal: WR who Drew Interest From Penn State Commits to OU

Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin November 12, 2022 David Hague/NSN

Penn State needs receivers, and another one is off the board from the transfer portal.

Former Purdue player Deion Burks has committed to Oklahoma. Hayes Fawcett of On3Sports was the first to report Tuesday afternoon.

 

Burks entered the portal after three seasons at Purdue.

He became Purdue’s best receiver this past season. Burks ended the year with 629 yards and seven touchdowns on 47 receptions. 247Sports had him as the No. 2 overall receiver in the portal. Burks was behind Antwane Wells, who committed to Ole Miss after transferring from South Carolina. No. 2 was London Humphreys, who went from Vanderbilt to Georgia.

Now, the highest-rated receiver on the market is Julian Fleming, a name that Penn State fans should be familiar with.

Coming out of Southern Columbia High School— located in Catawissa, which is roughly an hour and a half from State College— Fleming was the No. 1 receiver and No. 4 player in the country according to 247Sports, along with being the top-rated player in Pennsylvania.

As one could imagine, Penn State recruited Fleming hard.

He ended up committing to Ohio State in May 2019, picking it over Alamaba, Clemson, Georgia and, yes, Penn State, among other schools. 

Fleming didn’t blossom into a superstar at Ohio State the way many expected, and this was largley due to an absurd amount of talent OSU recruited at that position. In his four seasons, Fleming’s teammates in the receivers room included first-round picks Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jaxon-Smith Njigba. The current Buckeye team has a man named Marvin Harrison Jr., who many feel is the best player in the country, and Emeka Egbuka, who had more than 1,000 receiving yards in 2022. That’s also the year Fleming had his best statistical season, ending up with 533 yards and six touchdowns on 34 catches and helping Ohio State to its second consecutive College Football Playoff appearance, where it lost to Georgia in the semifinals.
Whether it’s Fleming or not, Penn State needs a receiver— likely more than one— out of the portal.

The receivers room was generally thought to be the biggest weakness during Penn State’s 2023 regular season. Aside from KeAndre Lambert-Smith (53 catches, 673 yards, four TD), no Penn State WR had more than 246 yards. But Penn State’s had quality options at receiver throughout the James Franklin era. Players such as Chris Godwin, Jahan Dotson and KJ Hamler all became high-round NFL draft picks. Penn State is sure to address that area of concern in some facet during this transfer portal window. 

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