Penn State has been blessed with several receivers over the past decade that have proven their worth.
And now, through three games of the Nittany Lions' 2012 season, another standout has made his name known throughout the NCAA.
Allen Robinson, a 6-3 sophomore out of Michigan, has taken over for the recently departed Justin Brown. Brown was to be one of Penn State's top threats on offense along with Silas Redd.
With the departure of both, Robinson currently has 24 catches for 322 yards and four touchdowns - he had three scores last week against Navy. But with all that said, Robinson should thank the work of Bill O'Brien for this year's success.
In a system that prides itself on the passing game, Robinson has taken every opportunity given to him. He currently ranks 10th among receivers at FBS schools in yards per game (107.3) and catches. He leads the Big Ten in both categories.
Throughout the spring practices, Robinson stepped into the No. 1 receiver role with confidence. The surprise start to the season comes as no surprise to those around the program. Let's not forget Robinson did have 87 yards in the annual spring game.
In 2011, Robinson had a total of three receptions for 29 yards. He now finds himself added to the Biletnikoff Award watch list for the nation's top receiver. Robinson is already halfway to the receptions record for a sophomore held by Bobby Engram and Deon Butler.
And if Robinson continues to be as dominant as he's been through the first three games, expect him to approach the school's all-time record of 63 held by O.J. McDuffie (1992) and Engram (1995).
This is by far the best start to a season that a Penn State receiver has had. And most of that can be credited to the new general in Happy Valley.
When O'Brien was with the New England Patriots as an offensive coordinator, he turned under-the-radar receivers into standout playmakers. Of course there were guys like Randy Moss in the fold, but here at Penn State, the system which O'Brien is leaning toward just fits Robinson immensely.
With an offense that puts a lot of receivers on the field at one time, Matt McGloin and the offense see a lot of man coverage. And when Robinson has a one-on-one chance, he doesn't disappoint.
That was evident on both of Robinson's 45-yard grabs against Navy. Each play saw man coverage on the sophomore. On the one that went for a touchdown, Robinson ran a great double move to get wide open before McGloin hit him in stride. Robinson flat outran past the defense in his first 45-yard grab.
Obviously, things will only get tougher for the Nittany Lions. The Big Ten schedule starts in two weeks. But if things stay the same, this is a receiver who could have to make a choice about the NFL in the near future.
It's not just the skill set that had Robinson above the rest thus far in 2012. It's his physical makeup.
Robinson carries all the intangibles to become an elite receiver. But he has one thing that McDuffie, Butler, Bobby Engram and Derrick Williams didn't have -height.
McDuffie, Engram and Butler were a mere 5-10 while Williams was 5-11. Robinson has a good five inches on each, not to mention his burner capability.
And with the landscape changing in the Big Ten, defenses may not be as keen on stopping the pass as they are on stopping the run. Robinson will surely benefit from this.
Indiana is currently the only team in the Big Ten that ranks inside the top 50 in the nation in passing. Three conference teams rank in the bottom 25.
So with the new emergence of Penn State's hottest offensive weapon, the Nittany Lions will continue to throw. And if that means airing it out more than running it, so be it.
Nick Wagner is a sports reporter for The Sentinel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org