NITTANY NOTES: Rookie Receivers

We offer our best guess on which true freshman wideouts will see the field against Akron.

One of the highlights of Penn State's preseason practice sessions has been the emergence of an outstanding class of true freshman wide receivers.

As an observer told FOS during two-a-days, "McQueary and Joe are gong to have some tough decisions to make when it comes to redshirts."

McQueary, of course, is Penn State receivers coach Mike McQueary. Joe is the head coach of the Nittany Lions, a guy with the last name of Paterno.

The rookie wideouts vying for playing time back then included Justin Brown, Curtis Drake, Shawney Kersey, Christian Kuntz and Devon Smith.

Based on what we've heard from practice observers, this is how we think things will play out.


• Brown (No. 19). He has great size (6-foot-3, 208) and good speed for his size. Good hands, too. A very polished receiver for a freshman.

• Drake (No. 7). Athletic and smart. Not the biggest guy (5-11, 169) but he runs great routes and can produce big-time YAC. He can also play tailback and quarterback, if needed.

• Smith (No. 20). Little (5-7, 153) but the fastest man on the team. Another YAC threat. The staff will also use him on kickoff returns, so it makes sense to have him in the wideout mix, too.


• Kersey (No. 4). Good size (6-1, 187) and GREAT speed (4.3 40). But he is not as polished a receiver as Brown or Drake, and he is just a bit behind Smith in terms of kick returns. He has a huge upside, but just needs to have some of the rough edges smoothed over. We don't think you'll see him Sunday. But we don't think a final decision as been made on whether to redshirt him, either.


• Kuntz (No. 34). Another big (6-4, 207) wideout with good speed. But redshirting is a no-brainer on a couple of levels. First, he missed much of his senior season in high school due to an injury, so why not give him as much time as possible to adjust to the next level? Second, PSU already has several big wideouts (Brett Brackett, Graham Zug, J.D. Mason and Brown) who are further along in their development.


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