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2022 Spring Position Preview: Wide Receivers

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Despite losing Jahan Dotson, the receiving corps is expected to be one of the offense’s strengths.

NCAA Football: Villanova at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Starters

Parker Washington, KeAndre Lambert-Smith, Mitchell Tinsley

While Jahan Dotson and his 1,100-plus receiving yards and dozen touchdowns will be sorely missed, Parker Washington is ready to step up as the go-to receiver in the corps, as he seeks to build on a 2021 campaign that saw him rack up 820 yards and four TD’s on 64 catches, second behind only Mr. Dotson. Parker may not be the speediest receiver on the roster, but he’s one of the smoothest route runners whose hands are practically like magnets, because if the ball is thrown anywhere within a catchable distance, he grabs it.

KeAndre Lambert-Smith also has a golden opportunity to build upon a breakout 2021 year that saw him haul in 34 balls for 521 and a trio of TD’s, while incoming Western Kentucky transfer Mitchell Tinsley seems poised to take over Jahan’s old starting spot. Tinsley racked up over 1,400 yards receiving last year on 87 catches and 14 TD’s with the Hilltoppers, including a pair of solid performances against Big Ten East foes Indiana (four catches, 68 yards) and Michigan State (seven catches, 127 yards).

Perhaps Ready To Step Up

Malick Meiga,

Meiga introduced himself to PSU fans with his TD haul against Rutgers last year, on a play where not a single Rutgers defender was within him on the same TV screen. Ever since he set foot in Happy Valley, the chatter about him was his natural athleticism, but need for refining as a receiver. Malick’s shining moment last year showed what he’s capable of, and in 2022 he’ll have a chance to establish himself as a key part of the rotation.

We Shall See

Harrison “Tre” Wallace, Jaden Dottin, Liam Clifford, Kaden Saunders, Omari Evans

Wallace was a late comer to the 2021 recruiting class, but regarded as a gem whose athleticism and route-running ability could serve him well. He also has some sick talent on the basketball court. Fellow 2021 class members Dottin and Clifford are also guys who will seek to get some PT this upcoming season. It sure would be something if Sean gets to drop dimes to his younger brother, Liam.

Meanwhile, the pair of highly-touted early enrollee freshmen in Saunders and Evans have received positive feedback from winter workouts and spring practice, and one or both may carve out a role on special teams. Both are quick and have good hands, but we’ll see if either one is able to carve out a spot in the rotation for themselves. The Blue-White game will sure be a nice way for these two to show what all the hype was about.