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Penn State Football: Lewis Ready To Step Into Bigger Role

by on February 23, 2014 2:00 PM

The coaches might be new, the playbook might be different, but the challenges Penn State football will face in 2014 are the same as they ever were.

With the NFL Combine playing inside the Lasch Football Building on Saturday afternoon, sophomore receiver Geno Lewis watched as an image of former Nittany Lion Allen Robinson flashed across the screen. A simple reminder that the biggest asset Penn State had in 2013 is no longer in town.

And that will mean changes for everyone across the board. 

Hackenberg will have to find new targets, receivers will have to step up their game, and coaches will no longer be able to rely on Robinson's clutch catching abilities to win games.

So is the sense of urgency present in the locker room? 

"Definitely," Lewis said on Saturday. "It gives me an opportunity to step up and be a leader. When I came in here I knew that you just had to be patient and wait on your time. This year it could definitely be my time, so I'll just work hard every day and go out there and do the best I can to the best of my ability."

"I want to gain some weight this offseason, work on my routes, and work on learning the playbook and just move forward from there."

With spring practice less than a month away, Lewis hasn't seen the playbook yet as the team works on learning the basics of the offense but he is itching to get going again after yet another offseason of change in Happy Valley.

"Right now we're just getting the basics and stuff like that," Lewis said. "We're getting the routes and the concepts and things like that. Right now you just need to learn the basics and be able to execute them full speed and then just work your way up from there."

Penn State will need Lewis and plenty of other players to step up on the offensive side of the ball this season. Robinson's 1,432 yards receiving in 2013 accounted for 48-percent of Hackenberg's passing total meaning there are plenty of yards to be caught by Nittany Lions targets in 2014.

Lewis won't get all of Robinson's 97 receptions, but a three catch, 91 yard, two touchdown performance against Wisconsin to end the season last year certainly won't hurt the confidence of one of Penn State's rising star.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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