football Edit

Nittany Lions add Harvard offensive lineman Eric Wilson as grad transfer

Penn State has added another scholarship transfer in former Harvard offensive lineman Eric Wilson

Penn State picked up another incoming transfer Wednesday morning with the addition of Harvard offensive lineman Eric Wilson.

Checking in at 6-foot-4, 315 pounds, Wilson enrolled at Harvard in 2017. He made a limited impact his first season, playing in two games, but followed that up his sophomore year playing in all 10 games for the Crimson. He didn't miss a game in 2019 either, while also earning second-team All-Ivy League honors.

"The connection I've built with Coach [Phil] Trautwein, Coach [James] Franklin, and the rest of the staff is something I'm extremely excited to continue in the next year. All of their track records speak for themselves in terms of developing players to be ready for the next level. This past weekend, I drove around and saw a stadium fit for 110,00 people and a great campus. I have grown up a fan of Big Ten football and can't wait to be part of a program like Penn State."

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The Penn State Nittany Lions have added former Crimson OL Eric Wilson as a graduate transfer.
Harvard OL Eric Wilson played all 20 games for the Crimson in 2018 and 2019. (Courtesy of Harvard Athletics)

Wilson entered the transfer portal back in August when it became clear that the Ivy League wasn't going to play football in 2020. He's remained patient, however, electing to graduate from Harvard this upcoming May so he could play right away at the Division I level. Originally, that school was expected to be Auburn, as Wilson committed to Gus Malzahn and his staff at the end of November. However, when Malzahn was fired on Dec. 13, Wilson elected not to sign with the Tigers.

Although he was still considering Auburn after the hiring of former Boise State head coach Brian Harsin, Wilson also gave LSU serious consideration. In fact, at one point, it was believed that he was leaning towards the Tigers. With that said, he remained in contact with Trautwein, Penn State's offensive line coach, throughout all of this, and that ultimately proved to be key in Wilson's decision.

“I think Coach Trautwein has a really great track record,” Wilson said in an interview Monday. “I knew about Boston College putting a lot of great linemen in the league when he was there. I know he now has two guys leaving this year then for the draft, so that definitely has played a part in my recruitment, knowing his track record. Obviously, he was a great player himself, too. He knows what it takes and had a lot success with those Florida teams.”

This past weekend, Wilson and his family also travelled to State College to see the town and campus themselves. It was just a quick trip during his drive from Minnesota, his home state, up to Harvard.

“I decided to drive out to Harvard this time so I could then drive to wherever my next school is,” Wilson said. “So, this was the first time I drove out, and I went with my mom. One thing I realized was that Penn State was literally right on the way, so I figured I should at least walk around the campus a little bit. That’s really all we did. Although, presumably, I wouldn’t be on the undergraduate campus a ton, it was cool walking around and getting a feel for it. There weren’t many students back yet, but just seeing the main street area was cool.”

Wilson is the fifth scholarship transfer to join the Nittany Lions since the end of the 2020 season. Penn State added two defensive linemen, Derrick Tangelo, who formerly played at Duke, and Arnold Ebiketie, who played at Temple. They also added running back John Lovett from Baylor and cornerback John Dixon from South Carolina. The Nittany Lions also added two preferred walk-on transfers in WR Winston Eubanks and P Barney Amor.

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