We always knew the skill positions at Penn State have gotten a huge upgrade under Head Coach James Franklin, but it seems others are taking notice as well.
Fox Sports’s Bruce Feldman released his top ten groups of wide receivers for the 2016 football season, and the Nittany Lion group clocks in at #5. Says Feldman:
Start with Chris Godwin, a 6-1, 205-pound junior who thrives catching passes in traffic and has enough speed (mid 4.4s) to beat people over the top. Senior DaeSean Hamilton, at 6-1, 210, has piled up 127 receptions the past two seasons combined, is very smart, has good change of direction and will play in the slot this season with PSU’s shift to more of a spread attack under Joe Moorhead.
Saeed Blacknall is even bigger than both of them at 6-3, 211 and he’s faster than both, too. He averaged 31 yards a catch in limited action last fall but had a dominant spring where he was the team’s most improved player. Watch out for him this year. DeAndre Thompkins also had a strong spring and will be a factor in the slot along with shifty Brandon Polk. Irvin Charles and Juwan Johnson, a pair of 6-4, 217 pound redshirt freshmen, are both promising and should be part of a strong seven-man rotation. The Nittany Lions also have a Freak at tight end in Mike Gesicki, a 6-6, 250-pounder who runs mid 4.5s and vertical jumps 37 inches. If he can become more consistent and focused, he’ll be a big headache for rival defenses.
And that doesn’t even take into account running backs Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders, or Andre Robinson, who could become pass catching threats for presumed starting quarterback Trace McSorley this fall.
Feldman ranked Clemson, Bama, Oregon and Big Ten East foe Michigan ahead of the Penn State; Texas A&M, USC, Wazzu, OK State, and Ole Miss round out the Top Ten.