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Penn State Football Preseason Top 10: No. 4 Parker Washington

Jahan Dotson’s right-hand man in the receiving corps looks to make an even bigger splash as a sophomore

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for our annual season top 10! Each summer, the staff votes on its top 10 players ahead of the upcoming season. A first place vote is worth 10 points, second place is worth nine points, and so on.

How He Got Here

The former four-star wide receiver out of Texas certainly seemed like someone who would be a key contributor for the Nittany Lions, based on some of his highlight reel-worthy catches alone. While the lack of quality depth in the receiving corps left room open for Washington to carve out some playing time, few people expected him to have the kind of immediate impact that he ended up having, even in the COVID-tainted 2020 season.

Sure enough though, Washington did end up announcing his arrival as a key member of the receiving corps in his very first collegiate game, catching a touchdown pass in the first overtime period at Indiana to momentarily put PSU back ahead. He would follow up that performance by going for at least 70 yards receiving in his next three games against Ohio State, Maryland, and Nebraska, catching a total of 17 passes and two TD’s during that three-game span.

Parker would then go on to play a major role in PSU’s first win of 2020 at Michigan, catching a season-high nine passes for 93 yards. He would then go on to score the opening TD at Rutgers the following week and followed that up with his best overall performance at home against Michigan State by catching four balls for 95 yards and a pair of TD’s, which included a career long 49-yard TD grab early in the fourth quarter with PSU clinging to a one-point lead to seize momentum for the Nittany Lions. When it was all said and done, Parker finished the 2020 season with 36 catches for 489 yards and six TD’s. Not too shabby, indeed.

What To Expect in 2021

As a result of getting a full offseason under Dwight Galt’s strength and conditioning program, Parker now weighs in at 212 pounds to go with his 5’10” frame. Considering how well he seemed to bounce off of defenders who attempted to tackle him and pick up some extra yards after the catch last season, that previous sentence should be making you drool. With an increased focus by opposing defenses on stopping Jahan Dotson, expect Mr. Washington to pick up where he left off last season and continue to become another favorite target of Sean Clifford’s.