5 Transfer Portal Landing Spots for KeAndre Lambert-Smith: USC, Virginia Options for the Penn State WR?

    KeAndre Lambert-Smith enters the transfer portal with 1,721 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns to his name. Who are the top landing spots for the Penn State WR?

    After rumors of KeAndre Lambert-Smith’s potential departure arose last week, the Penn State WR officially threw his name into the transfer portal. While the Nittany Lions attempt to address his vacancy, where will Lambert-Smith ultimately land?

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    Landing Spots for KeAndre Lambert-Smith

    Head coach James Franklin praised Lambert-Smith this spring, but perhaps that was in an effort to retain the WR’s services. “I think (offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki has) done a really good job with him as well. They seem to have a good relationship. I think (WRs coach Marques Hagans) has done a really good job of developing relationships with the whole room. Obviously, we need him to have a big year and expect him to have a big year.”

    Lambert-Smith finished the 2023 campaign as the Nittany Lions’ leading receiver, hauling in 53 catches for 673 yards and four touchdowns, earning an All-Big Ten honorable mention. Yet, he ended the year with 28 yards in the final four games and put up a 0-0-0 receiving line in the Peach Bowl loss against Ole Miss.

    Still, Lambert-Smith is the biggest name to enter the portal out of Penn State this offseason, and he’s the only player in school history with multiple 80-yard receptions on his résumé. Where will he end up for the 2024 season?

    USC Trojans

    Tahj Washington, Brenden Rice, and Mario Williams are all gone, leaving several holes in the Trojans’ WR room. Duce Robinson, Zachariah Branch, and Kyron Hudson return, and USC added D3 star Jaden Richardson, but that’s still a huge drop-off from the 2023 unit.

    Lambert-Smith would not only challenge for the WR1 role immediately but also offer Lincoln Riley a versatile deep threat to move around in the offense.

    North Carolina Tar Heels

    The Tar Heels made a push for Lambert-Smith as a four-star recruit in the 2020 class, and he officially visited the program before committing to Penn State. Head coach Mack Brown knows how to generate points and feed his leading pass catcher, producing a 1,000-yard receiver from 2019-2022 — and should’ve with Devontez Walker in 2023 had the NCAA not held him out to begin the season.

    Michigan State Spartans

    Jonathan Smith brought over his OC and QB from Oregon State to speed up his rebuild in East Lansing. However, the offense needs an alpha on the outside, and while KLS didn’t live up to expectations for the Nittany Lions, he’s talented enough to be a WR1. Pairing him with Aidan Chiles could lead to offensive fireworks Spartans fans have longed for.

    Virginia Cavaliers

    If Lambert-Smith wants to play in his home state, there’s no better option than the Cavaliers. There are 110 receptions, 1,426 yards, and nine TDs up for grabs with Malik Washington in the NFL Draft.

    Malachi Fields is the only returning WR of note, although Virginia nabbed Kent State’s Trell Harris and Notre Dame’s Chris Tyree from the portal. Regardless, KLS could fill Washington’s role as the primary slot receiver, keeping Fields and his towering 6’4″ frame on the outside.

    Iowa Hawkeyes

    Iowa can only improve from last season. Tim Lester is now calling the shots offensively after spending the 2023 season as a senior analyst for the Green Bay Packers.

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    While scheme and a season-ending injury to QB Cade McNamara were the biggest culprits for the Hawkeyes’ dreadful performance, there was also a lack of talent in the WR corps. With Iowa not bringing in any other transfer WRs, they desperately need a player of Lambert-Smith’s caliber on the field.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!


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