The Nittany Lions lost arguably the best receiver in the program's history when Allen Robinson decided to enter the draft and forgo his senior season. Penn State's 2014 recruiting class may have minimized the damage by bringing in three 4-star receivers and a 4-star tight end.
The gem of that group is 6'3", 210-pound New Jersey native Saeed Blacknall, who held offers from Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Michigan, among many others.
Saeed Blacknall, a wide receiver from Manalapan, N.J., has signed to play at @PennStateFball. He's No. 118 on the ESPN Top 300.— Mike Pearson (@B1GLLL) February 5, 2014
Much like Robinson, Blacknall will be Penn State's biggest threat at receiver—literally.
Size is just one thing that the new Nittany Lion has going for him. Blacknall's other advantage is a position coach in Josh Gattis that has coached two All-American wide receivers in the last three seasons.
Which freshman receiver will have the most catches?
At Vanderbilt, 6'3", 206-pound Jordan Matthews compiled 206 receptions over the last two years under the new Penn State assistant. Before that, Gattis mentored 6', 215-pound Jordan White to a 140-reception season at Western Michigan University.
Penn State's returning receivers caught just 35 passes in 2013. The depth chart is wide open and that will be amplified by the clean slate that a new staff presents.
Blacknall, a Semper Fi All-American with 4.45 speed, according to 247Sports, should be able to find his niche immediately in the Penn State offense as both a big target and a deep threat. In the last two seasons of his high school career, Blacknall amassed 92 receptions and 26 touchdowns, per MaxPreps.com.
Of course, in order to make a splash at the next level, he'll have to beat out the other standout receivers that joined him in becoming Nittany Lions on Wednesday.