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Irvin Charles Will Be Penn State’s Breakout Player In 2017

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In our ongoing series, our writers name the Penn State football player they think will break out the biggest way in 2017. Up next, Tim discusses his pick: wide receiver Irvin Charles.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The above video is probably the very first thing that comes to mind when Penn State fans hear Irvin Charles’ name. The 80-yard touchdown scamper also happened to be Charles’ first-ever collegiate catch, one that helped awaken a moribund Penn State offense that trailed 13-3 early in the third quarter against Minnesota, ultimately leading to the Nittany Lions’ dramatic overtime victory.

Even though he would only go on to catch one more ball the rest of the season (a 26-yard reception against Purdue), Irvin Charles remains somebody to keep an eye on as a breakout player in 2017. With Chris Godwin taking his nearly 1,000 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns to Tampa, somebody will need to fill the void, and Irvin may have the potential to do so. In fact, we noted the following when writing Irvin’s commitment post a few years ago:

As far as his future impact on the team, Irvin will have a chance to be a special receiver for the Nittany Lions. He stands at 6'4", so he has the height to develop into a potent red zone threat. Charles is much more than that though. He already shows a very natural feel for the position, as he is adept at using his body to shield defenders off the ball. That size will be his main weapon at the next level, but his speed is no joke either. He still has plenty of time to develop before arriving at Penn State, and he would do well to continue working on his route running. Overall though, Charles is already a fantastic receiver who will only improve from here. Penn State picked up a good one.

Fellow 6’4” receiver classmate Juwan Johnson will be Irvin’s top competition for a starting spot. While Johnson is the more likely of the two to be starting, Charles will make a strong push for playing time. Much like his own touchdown grab , he could make an impact when you least expect it.