With two Heisman candidates in Penn State’s backfield, the Nittany Lions’ pass catchers can be overlooked. But Penn State wide receivers coach Josh Gattis doesn’t think that should be the case.
Speaking with reporters Wednesday night, Gattis vouched for Penn State’s receivers. The Nittany Lions’ assistant said, counting tight end Mike Gisecki (a preseason All-American pick), Penn State has four players who could “easily” be the team’s No. 1 receiver. Gattis is likely referring to Saeed Blacknall, DaeSean Hamilton and Juwan Johnson as the other three players.
“We’ve got four guys out there, counting Mike Gesicki, who could easily be our number one receiver,” Gattis said. “I don’t think you can judge anybody on our team based on how many catches they have per week because everything we do is predicated off of what the defense is giving us. So we’re not going to force our hand and force it to one guy, we’re going to spread the ball around and that’s the neat thing about this offense.”
Gattis added that he thinks Penn State has six receivers that could start on “any Big Ten team.”
The biggest hole Penn State has to fill at receiver was left by Chris Godwin. Trace McSorley’s favorite target last season, Godwin opted to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. Gattis said Johnson, who was limited to two catches for 70 yards last season, will take a big step forward this season to help fill Godwin’s void.
“Juwan is going to have an unbelievable year,” Gattis said. “He’s playing at an extremely high level. It possibly could be the highest level we’ve ever had here in practice. It would not shock me if he went out there and just dominated this whole year.”
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