When Dante Cephas transferred from Kent State to Penn State, he brought with him a whole host of expectations (rightly or wrongly).
Coming off back-to-back All-MAC selections, it was hoped that Cephas would follow in Mitchell Tinsley’s steps - that is, transfer from a lower division to Power 5, and immediately cement himself as a solid #2 WR.
Instead, Dante ran a bit streaky, and found himself buried on the depth chart. Part of that likely has to do with the fact that he was unable to enroll until August, while Tinsley had all winter to prepare. But whatever the reason, it seemed obvious that Cephas was struggling.
Routes were being run that were clear miscommunications with Drew Allar. Catches were being missed. A lack of separation from defensive backs.
Through the first 7 games of the season, Dante had recorded just 11 catches for 146 yards, and zero touchdowns. That’s an average of just 1.6 catches per game, and 20.9 yards per game.
But with Harrison Wallace being injured again, SOMEbody needed to step up in the receiving room against Maryland.
It appears that Dante did just that.
Cephas reeled in six catches on Saturday, tripling his previous high for a single game. His 53 yards nearly tripled his average production per game on the season, and he logged his first two touchdown catches as a Nittany Lion - both toe-tapping over-the-shoulder beauts, including a nifty one-handed catch to open scoring for the Lions.
Not only that, but for the first time that I can recall, Dante was doing some nice work blocking outside on a few plays.
In short, Saturday was easily the best day that Cephas has had in the Blue and White. With Wallace potentially out long term, it’s vital that the Lions find a solid WR #2 to go with KeAndre Lambert-Smith.
It appears that the lightbulb may have turned on for Dante Cephas, just in time for Michigan.