Which ACC Schools Could Be Landing Penn State Transfers?

With Silas Redd Apparently Off the Market, What Are ACC School’s Best Options for PSU Transfers?

Obviously, this post is no disrespect to the victims of the terrible tragedies that occurred at Penn State. It’s my, and everyone’s, hope that some part of these sanctions and fines levied against the university and its football program manage to begin the healing process — both for the victims and for the obviously out-of-touch Nittany Lions football culture.

One of the biggest parts of the sanctions were the ruling that any player currently with the program can enroll in a new institution immediately, and be able to play right away. We’ve seen this happen before, but with a four-year postseason ban and numerous additional factors preventing competitiveness in the near future, Penn State’s situation appears more dire. In a worst-case scenario world, the team loses every football player currently enrolled. In a best-case, I still believe they lose a quarter of their players. But who are those players, and where might they go? Being the major college football conference in PSU’s footprint (the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions), it only makes sense that the ACC would be an understandable landing spot.

For kids looking to remain close to the State College, Pa. area, longtime rivals Pittsburgh and Syracuse are actually the perfect fit, each within three hours of the university. Additionally, potential transfers are likely looking at fellow ACC landing spots Maryland, Boston College, Virginia and Virginia Tech, all of which are fairly close by as well. Before the expected flurry of movement (or lack thereof) though, we tried to break things down for the most relevant classes — 2010 through 2013. Looking at all recruits grading four stars or higher on ESPN.com, we list out ACC offers received before ultimately deciding on Penn State. Since these were the schools that had the closest ties to them during the original recruiting process, it’s a fair assumption they’ll have the quickest road back to their ears.

Have any more additions to this list? Feel free to add some thoughts in the comments!


Christian Hackenburg, QB, Four Stars (ACC offers: Miami, UVA)

Dorian Johnson, OT, Four Stars (ACC offers: BC, Maryland, Pitt, UVA, VPI)

Adam Breneman, TE, Four Stars (ACC offers: BC, Duke, Florida State, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Pitt, UVA, Wake Forest)

Brendan Mahon, OG, Four Stars (ACC offers: BC, Miami, UNC, NC State)

Andrew Nelson, OT, Four Stars (ACC offers: Maryland, Pitt)

Garrett Sickels, DE, Four Stars (ACC offers: BC, Duke, Maryland, Miami)


Eugene Lewis, WR, Four Stars (ACC offers: BC, Maryland, NCSU, Pitt, UVA, VPI)

Brian Gaia, OG, Four Stars (ACC offers: BC, Maryland, Pitt, UVA, VPI)


Angelo Mangiro, OG, Four Stars (ACC offers: BC, Pitt)

Bill Belton, ATH, Four Stars (ACC offers: Pitt)

Donovan Smith, OT, Four Stars (ACC offers: Maryland, NCSU, UVA)


Khairi Fortt, RB, Four Stars (ACC offers: UNC)

Dakota Royer, DE, Four Stars (ACC offers: Pitt)

Evan Hailes, DT, Four Stars (ACC offers: NCSU, VPI)

Miles Dieffenbach, C, Four Stars (ACC offers: BC, FSU, Pitt, UVA)

C.J. Olaniyan, DE, Four Stars (ACC offers: Miami)

Alex Kenney, WR, Four Stars (ACC offers: BC, Pitt, UVA)

Kyle Baublitz, DE, Four Stars (ACC offers: Pitt, UVA)

Silas Redd, RB, Four Stars (ACC offers: BC, UVA) — also rumored to be headed to USC

As you’ll quickly notice above, BC and Pitt were the most active competition in the recruiting of these four-star recruits, with UVA and Maryland also playing a major role. The most southern schools were much less involved, though NC State made their presence felt for many of these recruits. Syracuse, who is expected to be an active player in the “free agency” process which has already started, played a much larger role in three-star players than the above (only featuring four-star recruits) indicates.

So who do you think will be headed where? Does previous recruitment or geography play a major factor, or will players be looking to the best on-filed situation for themselves? Let us know below.

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2 thoughts on “Which ACC Schools Could Be Landing Penn State Transfers?

  1. Previous recruitment may play a factor, although in some cases (e.g. Maryland, UNC) the fact that a new coach is on board at a school may change whether or not the school re-recruits that player.

    I do think players who are from PA that want to stay close to home but aren’t comfortable with PSU are probably going to at least consider Syracuse, Pitt and Maryland first (depending on where they are from in PA). Ohio State is (unfortunately) another possibility that’s not too far away. There are also probably some players from out-of-state that could go anywhere.

    I do not expect a ton of movement of current players before the 2012 season, although some might move anyway. The 2013 recruits can take a bit of time (but not too much) to move elsewhere. Once December rolls around, there could be substantial movement.

    • Agreed on all. Crazy that so many recruits for 2013 have already come out in favor of sticking around. Still plenty of time to make their final decisions, as you mentioned, though. Based on the television exposure Penn State gets this season, and the way they’re treated by the media overall, I think it’ll go a long way toward making those final decisions for these kids.

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