Penn State running back Keyvone Lee, who watched freshmen Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen get the bulk of the carries during the 2022 season, announced Friday night that he has placed his name in the NCAA transfer portal.
“I’m officially in the transfer portal with 2 years of eligibility left,” Lee tweeted.
The 6-0, 225-pound Lee began the season as the Nittany Lions’ No. 1 running back before Singleton replaced him as the starter at Auburn, the third game of the season.
Lee played in five games, carrying 25 times for 94 yards and one touchdown and catching three passes for 23 yards, including the game-winning 10-yard reception from Sean Clifford in a season-opening 35-31 win at Purdue.
He missed the final seven games of the regular season with an undisclosed injury. Two days before the Rose Bowl, he said that he expected to play against Utah, but he did not see action.
Lee is expected to become the third Penn State veteran back to leave the program after Caziah Holmes transferred to Florida State in August and Devyn Ford left the team in midseason.
Singleton, the former Gov. Mifflin star, finished his freshman season in a spectacular way, rushing for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the 35-21 win over Utah in the Rose Bowl.
He was Penn State’s leading rusher with 1,061 yards and 12 touchdowns on 156 carries. Allen wound up with 867 yards and 10 TDs on 167 attempts.
“I feel like Kaytron’s game is a little like mine,” Lee said at Rose Bowl Media Day. “Nick’s just fast as hell. I ain’t got no part of that. Looking at Kaytron, there would be some flashes when I’d think, ‘Damn, that looked like me freshman year.’
“They’re my boys. They’re coming along. They’re my little ones. I had to take them in. When Devyn left and Caz left, I was like the vet. I had to step up and play that role.”
Lee twice led the Lions in rushing, running for 438 yards and four touchdowns in 2020 and for 530 yards and two scores in 2021. He also caught 30 passes for 219 yards and that TD at Purdue in his career.
He made it clear he was hoping to play in the Rose Bowl.
“I can’t wait,” Lee said two days before the game. “I haven’t been on the field with my brothers for a long time. I just can’t wait for that moment. That’s the only thing I’m looking forward to.”
Lee’s departure leaves Singleton and Allen as the only scholarship running backs on the roster for spring practice.
London Montgomery, a four-star prospect from Scranton Prep, and Cameron Wallace, a three-star prospect from Mount Vernon, Ga., signed with Penn State last month as members of the Lions’ 2023 recruiting class. Both will not enroll until May or June.
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