Penn State’s secondary received a big boost on Wednesday evening when former North Carolina cornerback Storm Duck announced that he’s transferring to Penn State for the 2023 season.
The 6-foot-0, 200-pound Duck has been a stalwart on the UNC defense since his true freshman season in 2019, having started 27 games throughout his four seasons with the Tar Heels. His best year came this past season though, when Duck played in and started all 12 games en route to earning second-team All-ACC honors. He finished the 2022 season with 46 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 9 passes defended.
It goes without saying given his experience and accolades, but this is a quality get for Penn State. I think the only real negative on Duck is that he has had some issues staying healthy in the past — he played in just eight games in 2020 and 2021 due to a “lower body” injury first and then an “upper body” injury on top of that. He did prove better durability in 2022 though, a hopeful sign that his injuries are a thing of the past.
At Penn State, Duck will join a talented cornerback room but certainly one that probably needed one more piece with Joey Porter Jr. off to the NFL. The Nittany Lions were already returning Kalen King and Johnny Dixon with starting experience, so Duck should fit in nicely as either the CB3 or perhaps push Dixon for CB2. Toss in Daequan Hardy manning the slot and some good young pieces in Cam Miller, Elliot Washington, and Zion Tracy, I think there’s little doubt that cornerback coach Terry Smith will have this group amongst the best in the country once again.
On a personal note, I find it fitting that after five “Probing The Portals” where I must have talked about 30+ prospects, that Penn State’s first non-kicker transfer is from someone I haven’t brought up. Beautiful. Just beautiful.
Welcome, Storm Duck. Great name, hopefully even better play.