Penn State Football

Penn State Football: Who Will Replace Allen Robinson in Starting Lineup in 2014?

Nov 2, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Allen Robinson (8) prior to the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Tim TolleyContributor IFebruary 19, 2014

All Allen Robinson did during his three years at Penn State was win back-to-back Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year awards, while establishing himself as one of—if not the best—wide receiver to ever lace up for the Nittany Lions.

Despite tallying just three catches as a freshman, Robinson landed near the top of the record book in every receiving category after setting the single season reception record in 2012, and then breaking his own record in 2013.

Allen Robinson's Place in Penn State History
CategorySTATRANKINGLEADER
Career Catches1772ndDeon Butler
Career Receiving Yds.2,4793rdBobby Engram
Career Receiving TDs175thBobby Engram
Single Season Catches971stAllen Robinson
Single Season Yds.1,4321stAllen Robinson
Sports-Reference.com

He burst onto the scene with a 97-yard performance against Ohio in 2012 and never slowed down, becoming the focal point of the offense and seemingly bailing out both Matt McGloin and Christian Hackenberg at the most timely moments.

Few will forget his three touchdown game against Indiana in 2012 or his clutch performance against Michigan in 2013.

Oct 12, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Allen Robinson (8) makes a catch during the fourth quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Michigan 43-40 in overtime. Mandatory Credit:
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

When the Nittany Lions faced a 3rd-and-6, everybody watching knew where the ball was going. But, more times than not, Robinson converted.

The man who accounted for over 40 percent of Penn State's receptions in 2013 has declared for the draft and will find himself in the NFL in just a few short months.

With Penn State's best receiver gone, who will fill in for him from a production standpoint?

Geno Lewis is the man for the job.

After redshirting in 2012, Lewis played in all 12 games last year and climbed his way into the starting lineup late in the season.

He was tied for second on the team with three touchdown receptions and his 18 catches make him the leading wide receiver of those returning to the squad.

Nov 2, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Geno Lewis (7) prior to the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Illinois 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Lewis came to Happy Valley as a 4-star recruit—the highest rated prospect in the 2012 class, according to the 247Sports Composite ratings. He spent his first season putting on weight and learning the nuances of the position, while contributing on the scout team.

The culmination of his career to this point came in the season finale at Wisconsin, when Lewis caught two touchdowns and amassed 97 yards. Following the game, Lewis told Travis Johnson of the Centre Daily Times, "The more time you play, the slower the game gets. So it makes it a lot easier.”

If that's the case, Geno's best is yet to come.

In the same report, former head coach Bill O'Brien praised Lewis after the season:

“He’s made a ton of progress. He works extremely hard. Again, he’s become a better route-runner. He can become an even better route runner. He’s a good deep-ball runner, a good post-runner, a good go-runner. And he’s worked on his running style, he’s become more of a receiver.”

If Lewis can build on a rookie campaign that allowed him to learn under Stan Hixon while working alongside upperclassmen Robinson and Brandon Felder, it could be his turn to work his way into the record books.

With the expected growth of Christian Hackenberg and the addition of new wide receiver coach Josh Gattis, Lewis is in a perfect situation for a breakout season and career. 

He has big shoes to fill, but Geno has the abilities and the drive to be the next Allen Robinson.


All stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com.


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