After landing All-MAC Kent State wide receiver Dante Cephas on Sunday evening, Penn State continued to add talent to its receiving corps with the addition of former Florida State wideout Malik McClain.
Former Florida State WR Malik McClain makes it official for Penn State. pic.twitter.com/FA2TwUFHsR— Black Shoe Diaries (@BSDtweet) January 18, 2023
It was a short stop in the portal for McClain, who officially entered on January 11. Over the last couple days, he took in visits to South Carolina and Penn State, with the Nittany Lions winning out for his services.
A former four-star prospect in the 2021 recruiting class, McClain is originally from Alabama but ended his high school career at IMG Academy in Florida. He opted to stay in the Sunshine State for college, signing with the Seminoles back in January 2021. He ended up making an immediate impact at Florida State, playing in 11 games and finishing the year with 16 receptions for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns as a true freshman.
As a sophomore though, his role didn’t change all that much. Florida State landed Arizona State transfer Johnny Wilson last offseason, who broke out in a big way for the Seminoles — 43 receptions, 897 yards, and 5 touchdowns — and effectively blocked McClain from an increase in playing time. Still, it was a solid season for McClain, who put up 17 receptions for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns as a sophomore.
With Wilson coming back for another season, McClain opted to hit the transfer portal for a cleaner depth chart — which brings us to Penn State. While it remains to be seen where exactly McClain slots in, I think you’re likely looking at a kid who will compete with Harrison Wallace for the starting “Z” receiver spot — AKA the vertical threat. At 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, McClain has terrific size for the position, and displays some impressive body control to make catches.
Looking at things from a big picture perspective, Penn State ending up with Cephas and McClain as its transfer portal wideouts should be looked at as quite the haul. Cephas offers you the short area quickness and acceleration to give Drew Allar an option on quick slants and comeback routes, while McClain is a deep threat that Mike Yurcich’s offense needs to be at its best. They’re both talented for sure, but they also complement each other and the rest of the wide receiver room very well.