Penn State Football: Mid-season Evaluations for Wide Receiver and Tight End
This is the second in a five-part series reviewing each position at the midway point of Penn State’s season. The Nittany Lions (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) have a bye this week and return to action Oct. 20 at Iowa.
Tuesday, we take a look at the wide receiver and tight end positions.
Only three true wide receivers are being consistently targeted on a weekly basis, and yet it’s enough to pace quarterback Matt McGloin for the Big Ten lead in passing.
The past, present and future of Allen Robinson dominates the discussion with this unit. McGloin has publicly questioned why Robinson never got much of a chance to contribute last season. This is only brought up because Robinson has 41 receptions for 524 yards and seven touchdowns. And this can only lead to the biggest question of them all.
Will he stick around in 2013? Robinson has said all the right things to date, and it doesn’t sound like he’ll take advantage of the lax transfer rules the NCAA established in conjunction with the sanctions handed down in July.
Brandon Moseby-Felder has seen an increased role since Shawney Kersey left the team for personal reasons, and Alex Kenney is happy to have found a permanent position after jockeying back and forth between defensive back and receiver in recent years.
It’s also worth noting one of Penn State’s best young talents, Geno Lewis, is primed to redshirt, so it’s impossible to know the full potential of this unit.
Has any position group gotten more of a makeover than the tight ends? It’s also been the position that has gotten the most out of untapped potential from the previous coaching regime.
Kyle Carter can be mistaken for a wideout with his ability to stretch the field, and his versatility perfectly suits Bill O’Brien’s ‘F’ tight end position. He’s second on the squad in catches (23) and receiving yards (279).
But perhaps the guy who really has come out of no where this season is Matt Lehman, the ‘Y’ tight end who is third on the team with 152 yards and two touchdowns.
Four different tight ends regularly rotate in for O’Brien’s offense, and all must be able to line up in myriad locations on the field, block and catch the ball.
His use of the tight end is already attracting the best high school prospects at the position at a time when there’s no shortage of options on the current roster.