In continuing the series to look at Penn State’s positions during the 2013 season, it’s time to take a look at the wide receivers. Of course, Allen Robinson is the first name that comes to mind, as he is now one of the top Penn State receivers in history. Though overshadowed, there were receivers other than Robinson who were also on the field this year. The wide receiver position was an important one this year since the Nittany Lions were starting a Christian Hackenberg, a true freshman quarterback.
Robinson is the obvious star of the group, as he’s been the best receiver in the Big Ten the last two years and has also been one of the top in the country. His breakout season came as a sophomore last year, when he caught 77 passes for 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns. Though he scored just six times this season, he set Penn State records by making 97 catches for 1,432 yards.
As great as Robinson has been, the other receivers on the Nittany Lions had many difficulties in 2013. Brandon Felder, who was third on the team last year with 437 receiving yards, really struggled and was inconsistent this year. He had trouble with dropping passes, which led to a decreased role in the offense. Felder had just two catches in the final five games of the season and finished the year with just 312 yards. However, his three touchdowns was an improvement form last season.
Felder’s struggles opened the door for redshirt freshman Geno Lewis to take advantage of an opportunity at more playing time. Lewis started the last two games and finished on a high note in the season-finale at Wisconsin. Against the Badgers, Lewis had 91 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns.
Returning players from last year, Alex Kinney and Matt Zanellato, never made an impact on the offense, making just seven combined catches. True freshman Richy Anderson, who began as a running back, moved to receiver in the spring and saw limited action in 2013. His best game came at Indiana, grabbing three passes for 29 yards.
Clearly, Robinson gets an A by himself. He is ultra-talented and has a bright future in the NFL ahead. However, the same cannot be said for his fellow receivers. Whenever a team has a star receiver, it’s important for other guys to step up to keep the defense from always double-teaming the star. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, nobody really did that in 2013.
Overall, the group gets a C for a final grade.
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