The Penn State football team has high expectations for the 2023 season, but in order to achieve those expectations, their wide receivers will need to produce at a very high level. Most teams are going to want to load up on their run defense, especially early in the 2023 season to force Drew Allar to beat them with his arm.
This team will become even more dangerous once Allar can make teams respect him as a passer and make Penn State a truly balanced attack on offense. A question mark on the offensive side of the ball is still at wide receiver, but someone who has the potential to have a breakout season in 2023 is WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith.
The junior WR from Norfolk, Virginia is now a veteran on this team. It’s time for KLS to take the next step and become the lead receiver for the Nittany Lions this fall. He certainly has all of the physical ability to be able to do just that. Last season he created a new career-high for himself averaging 16.2 yards per catch. He was the team’s deep threat in 2022, but I think he can be much more than that if he can put it all together this fall.
What KLS is missing from his Penn State career is the volume of catches and that’s because he has sat behind very talented WRs who now play in the NFL in Jahan Dotson and Parker Washington. In 2023 Lambert-Smith should be Drew Allar’s #1 option at WR which will lead to an uptick in targets and should lead to more receptions, yards, and touchdowns as well.
247sports recently ranked each player in the Big Ten that will likely break out in 2023, for Penn State the player they mentioned was Lambert-Smith.
The last time we saw #1 on the field he was torching the Utah secondary for a Rose Bowl record of an 88-yard reception. KLS can clearly be the main option on this offense, I have no doubt in my mind. The question becomes, will he be able to step up to the challenge?