Monday, January 7, 2013
Looking ahead: Wide receivers
By Josh Moyer
Over the next week, NittanyNation will be taking a glance at different positions and their outlook for next season.
Who: Allen Robinson is the star on this receiver corps, but the lineup isn't all that clear after placing him at the No. 1 spot. Brandon Moseby-Felder could still be in position to be the No. 2 target, but rising redshirt freshman Eugene Lewis and rising sophomore Trevor Williams will try their best to overtake him. Lewis has the higher ceiling, but Williams is more refined at this point. This group could see quite a bit of shuffling before Week 1 begins.
Strengths: Penn State might be lacking depth at other positions, but it's absolutely stacked at wide receiver. There'll be at least 10 players at the position next season, which should provide some good competition and some close battles. Most of the wideouts here -- such as Robinson, Lewis and incoming freshman DaeSean Hamilton -- are more athletic than fast. Their leaping ability and hands are all good, and they should be an exciting group to watch.
Weaknesses: Consistency was definitely something missing last season. Dropped balls plagued the wideouts -- even Robinson at times -- throughout the season. There's also not really a deep threat with top-end speed here. Alex Kenney is incredibly quick, but he seems to be made more in the mold of a track athlete than football player. Moseby-Felder showed flashes last season after overcoming an injury, and he might be Penn State's best bet as a deep threat as long as he stays healthy.
Player to watch: Lewis is going to be a good one. He didn't play last season because he was unaccustomed to running routes since he played quarterback in high school. After a year of learning, he'll definitely be utilized in 2013 -- and he could end up being the biggest surprise on the offense.
Overall: The receivers should be much improved from last season. Everyone with significant playing time returns, and it's difficult to see how a drop-off could occur with another offseason under Stan Hixon. Some of the wideouts' numbers might decline with a new quarterback, but the talent at this position will definitely be an improvement over 2012.