Report: Penn State Football’s Ricky Slade Enters NCAA Transfer Portal
Penn State football running back and former five-star recruit Ricky Slade has reportedly entered the transfer portal, according Matt Zenitz of AL.com.
The Athletic‘s Audrey Snyder also reported Slade’s entry into the portal shortly after Zenitz’s initial report.
The former five-star recruit came into this past season poised for a breakout year as the potential starting running back. That didn’t come to fruition, as players like Journey Brown and Noah Cain got the lion’s share of snaps at running back. By the end of the season, Slade had fallen to the bottom of the depth chart.
Slade totaled just 47 carries for 214 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. Although he recorded two more carries, Slade had 43 fewer yards and four fewer touchdowns this year than he posted in 2018. He showed promise in his freshman year while backing up Miles Sanders, and he was thrust into a more prominent role then because of Mark Allen’s season-ending injury early in the season.
Although Slade was relegated to the bottom of the depth chart by season’s end, Slade’s departure will hurt Penn State’s running back depth. The rising junior is a talented player who was highly touted coming out of high school, and he showed flashes of his potential during his first two collegiate seasons. In 2019, Slade provided a nice spark off the bench — particularly with big rushes against Michigan and Memphis — but he was inconsistent and couldn’t nail down a starting spot on Penn State’s offense.
As far as the rest of Ja’Juan Seider’s running back room is concerned, Journey Brown will be back as the team’s likely starter following a breakout year in which he rushed for a team-leading 890 yards and 12 touchdowns. In addition, Noah Cain and Devyn Ford were impressive in their freshman seasons, and they should be able to form a scary three-headed monster with Brown.
Slade joins a good amount of Nittany Lions in the transfer portal, and he’s the second former five-star recruit to take the first step towards leaving Happy Valley. Justin Shorter entered the transfer portal in November and found a new home with the Florida Gators shortly thereafter. Additionally, offensive lineman Hunter Kelly, defensive back DJ Brown, and defensive linemen Daniel Joseph and Ellison Jordan have all submitted their names into the portal this offseason.
Slade himself hasn’t made any sort of announcement after his entry into the transfer portal. We’ll update this post with more information as it becomes available.
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