By Sean McMahon @Wolfkaosaun
Allen Robinson was the Big Ten‘s Richter–Howard receiver of the year, having a tremendous season in which he caught 77 passes for 1,108 yards and 11 touchdowns. In fact, Robinson led the Big Ten in receptions, receptions per game, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Robinson surprised the country by coming out of nowhere and becoming a reliable target for Penn State to go to. A year has passed, and questions have risen, but Robinson has a chance to silence all his critics saying he was a one hit wonder and will have a sophomore slump at Penn State.
During the Ohio State game, Allen Robinson basically had his coming out party. He played well against a good secondary, but it only became better from there. He had four games where he recorded nine or more receptions, becoming a reliable target for the quarterback Matt McGloin. Robinson progressed throughout the season, surprising the Big Ten and even the entire NCAA. After a very good and surprising season, questions arose if he can be consistent. Analysts and scouts have questioned if he has enough speed to beat defenses and if he can beat double teams. While there are questions, Robinson intends to answer.
With a quarterback competition brewing in Penn State, Robinson has been there all the while. In fact, Robinson organized team lifting sessions and on the field workouts. Not only that, but with two very promising quarterbacks at the helm, they will be looking to Robinson throughout this year; giving him plenty of opportunities to show he can beat double teams. Can Robinson now beat teams that are planning against him, rather than being surprised by a breakout season? Time will tell, but it appears that Robinson has plenty of motivation on his side.
Robinson recalled this past Thursday during the team’s media day about one play that stuck out to him. “The first third-down against Ohio State,” Robinson stated. It was a pass thrown toward him that fell incomplete. “That’s one play that I think I could have made that could have changed how that game was (or) the impact on that game…. It was a ball that was thrown out there for me to make a play and I wasn’t able to come down with that so I think in a situation like that, in a big game like that.… that’s a play that I definitely have to make this year.” Those words showed Robinson had motivation to improve himself, but he proved it by becoming a leader this offseason with organizing workouts with the team.
Breaking Penn State receiving records, Robinson is poised to have another big year. Having size and athleticism on his side, it seems that head coach Bill O’Brien is trying to implement other ways to incorporate Robinson into the offense. While Robinson mainly played the outside receiver, O’Brien has given indication that he will be in other spots such as the slot position. While being a big play threat down the field, Robinson also has the ability to create a great deal of yards after the catch. Not only that, but O’Brien has said that Robinson has been getting a better knowledge of the offense throughout the offseason to better himself.
As the first game is drawing closer and closer, and O’Brien has not named a starting quarterback, Robinson is still poised to have another big year. He will not longer be creeping up on defenses, nor will be given single coverage. In fact, defensive coordinators will scheme against him because of the young quarterbacks relying on him. Robinson now can use that motivation from the Ohio State game to his advantage, making sure history does not repeat itself. In a pro style offense and O’Brien knowing how to coach up quarterbacks, Robinson will have plenty of shots to show he can be the best receiver in the Big Ten again. Not only that, but Robinson has a chance to prove that he’s one of the best in the league.