Allen Robinson, WR (6-foot-3, 201 pounds)
As a true freshman last season, Robinson impressed enough early on to avoid a redshirt despite having veterans like Derek Moye and <Justin Brown in the lineup. Robinson saw limited action, though, grabbing just three passes for 29 yards. Looking back, it is difficult to understand why the previous staff blew his redshirt.
However with the departure of both Moye (graduation) and Brown (transfer), Robinson has the opportunity to step into a much larger role for the Penn State passing game this year.
In this year's Blue-White Game, Robinson showed solid progress, grabbing three passes for 87 yards thanks in large part to significant yards after the catch.
With the PSU staff looking for variety and versatility in the passing attack, there is hope that Robinson will use his quickness and large frame to be a real weapon.
Routes: In the off-season, Robinson has focused on "precision and detail" when it comes to his routes. It has reportedly paid off in camp. "The sharpness of his runs continue to get better and really give him an advantage against the coverage," an observer said. This has made him one of THE best wideouts on the roster and a virtual lock to start.
Hands: He has good basics with his receptions. As one observer said, "He fans out a wide target and has soft hands and has really focused on improving pulling in the ball to secure it." In terms of managing his coverage, he needs to improve on using his hands to create separation to "give him more space. He's got the size, but every inch of space helps the quarterback."
Speed: Robinson is fast off the snap and "gets into gear quickly." While he does not have "breakaway speed," "he has enough quickness which — coupled with his frame — allows him to make plays and really help move the ball." The key the coaches are working on with him is to use his frame to again create consistent separation. "he's big enough to box out guys on a route and create an open window for balls." Robinson also has one of the best verticals on the team. Many fans have seen that in action in a YouTube video of his high school basketball highlights, where a variety of dunks and blocks are on display. Check it out.
As DB Adrian Amos told us at Media Day, "Allen Robinson is probably our best all around receiver. Allen Robinson he can really do it at receiver. … I don't know what his vertical is, his vertical is probably jumping out of the charts. He's a big vertical threat and he's precise in his routes."
Strength: This has been the biggest area of focus for him this off-season. He has not added significant weight since the spring, but "has gotten somewhat stronger." The expectation by observers is that he will struggle to really get significantly stronger, but if he "squares up, uses his body and sets a big target, he can be a formidable receiver." Robinson is a legit 6-3, at least.
Impact: With Brown gone, the coaching staff is looking for go-to receivers. Robinson has been one of those primary candidates and has made enough progress that the sophomore will be a key component of the offense. Now the staff is looking for him to step up as a leader, too.
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