football Edit

Penn State football: Anatomy of a position group — The wide receivers

Starting this week, Blue White Illustrated will begin a new series breaking down each Penn State position group and how it was constructed, also touching on its outlook ahead of the 2021 season and looking further forward. We continue the series with Penn State's wide receivers

Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Tight Ends

2021 Penn State Wide Receiver Outlook 

Current Roster WR (Scholarship Only)
Player Experience  Stars 

Parker Washington

Sophomore

Jahan Dotson

Senior

Cam Sullivan-Brown

Redshirt Senior

Daniel George

Redshirt Junior

KeAndre Lambert-Smith

Sophomore

Jaden Dottin

Redshirt Freshman

Malick Meiga

Redshirt Freshman

Norval Black

Senior

Liam Clifford

Freshman

Harrison Wallace

Freshman

Marquis Wilson (ATH)

Junior

The contrast between how Penn State fans felt about their wide receivers heading into the 2020 season and how they feel about that position group with the 2021 season looming couldn't be much greater.

Concern and trepidation have been replaced by confidence and assurance with Penn State looking toward a season-opening date with Wisconsin.

Jahan Dotson emerged from his status as a relative unknown to become the Big Ten's leading receiver in 2020. His decision to return for another season in Happy Valley was a huge boost to everyone of a blue and white persuasion.

Similarly, Parker Washington had a fantastic season for a true freshman, finishing with 489 yards and six touchdowns in nine games.

It was an impressive campaign from that duo — and one, in Washington's case, specifically — that may have been even better under normal circumstances, considering he had almost no chance to develop a rapport with Sean Clifford before the season.

"It was a weird year in general," Clifford said. "Jahan obviously had been here, but with the new guys, I really didn't get a to meet them or throw to them until fall camp because we were separated because of COVID and then we were in different camps and we were practicing differently.

"The first time I threw to Parker was actually two weeks before the first game."

With those two standouts in the fold, there's reason to be excited about Penn State's top two options at that position.

The rest, though, is still up in the air.

There's no clear-and-obvious option to take up the mantle as Penn State's third wideout in 2021. Could it be one of the veterans like Cam Sullivan-Brown or Daniel George? Will a younger player like KeAndre Lambert-Smith emerge?

It's anyone's guess, and Penn State's staff will have to sort out Penn State's depth to ensure that the complementary pieces around Dotson and Washinton can do their part to ensure this group has a successful season.

Looking Ahead at Penn State's Wide Receivers 

So, now that we've covered the present, how does the future look at wideout for the Nittany Lions?

That could partially depend on what Lonnie White Jr. decides.

The four-star wideout was drafted this week by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and must now decide whether to pursue professional baseball or play for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State has pulled in at least one four-star or better wide receiver in every recruiting class since 2017, meaning the Nittany Lions should have plenty of options to choose from down the line.

Their 2022 class at that position looks like it could be special, too.

Anthony Ivey and Kaden Saunders are both exciting prospects who could have a big future with the Nittany Lions. Mehki Flowers fits that bill, too, but it seems likely that his future with Penn State is played out at the safety position.

There are plenty of variables within the room — including the future of Marquis Wilson, who took snaps at wideout this spring after starting his Penn State career as a corner.

But even with some uncertainties, the future at wideout for the Nittany Lions looks bright.

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