Penn State Football: Grading the Nittany Lions Through Five Games

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Sep 6, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Jesse James (18) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the third quarter against the Akron Zips at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Akron 21-3. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren- USA TODAY Sports

Tight Ends

This is another group, like the running backs, that has not met expectations so far this year.

The unit took a hit before the season even started when it was announced that Adam Breneman would be out indefinitely due to injury. But still, Jesse James, Kyle Carter and true freshman Mike Gesicki should be getting the ball a whole lot more than they currently are.

James started off strong in the first two games, but his production has fallen off since then. Carter, who was basically non-existent in the loss to Northwestern, only has a mere six catches for 63 yards this year and has no more than two catches in any single game. Gesicki has shown flashes and Brent Wilkerson has a touchdown reception.

Offensive coordinator John Donovan needs to have James, Carter and Gesicki in mind more when calling the plays on offense. So this grade isn’t completely reflective of the tight ends’ production because the coaching staff hasn’t been using them enough or in the right ways.

Grade: B-