Today’s VBR series of Penn State player previews takes a look at wide receiver Jonathan Warner. While he didn’t make any catches during the 2013 season, that figures to change in 2014 with the Nittany Lions short on wide receiver experience. With the departures of Allen Robinson and Brandon Felder, the door is wide open for others to step up and take advantage of their opportunity.
Like fellow wide receiver Richy Anderson, Warner is the son of a Penn State legend. Warner’s father, Curt, is still considered one of the best players in Penn State history.
The younger Warner wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school in Camas, Washington. He was a 2-star recruit according to Rivals, while 247Sports listed him as a 3-star prospect. Penn State was the only major offer Warner received.
Last season, Warner saw action in two games. In 2014, he has a chance to step up and play a role both as a wide receiver and on special teams.
Geno Lewis should enter the year as the No. 1 receiver. Beyond that, it’s wide open. Guys like Matt Zanellato and Richy Anderson have more experience than Warner, and therefore should get the first shot in the starting lineup. True freshman De’Andre Thompkins has a lot of upside and could land in front of Warner on the depth chart.
Warner has a lot in front of him if he wants to see significant time in 2014, but it won’t be impossible. With so little experience at the position, don’t be surprised to see head coach James Franklin try different combinations and give several guys an opportunity to make plays in the passing game if anyone at the top of the depth chart beings to struggle.