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Where do these second year wide receivers fit in for Penn State football?

The Penn State football team has high expectations for class of 2022 wide receivers Omari Evans and Kaden Saunders.



Penn State football, Lyrick Samuel, 2025 recruiting
Apr 15, 2023; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Omari Evans (5) breaks a tackle while running with the ball during the third quarter of the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. The Blue team defeated the White team 10-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Some critics might say that the Penn State football team has a problem on its hands with experience at wide receiver. Outside of KeAndre Lambert-Smith and Dante Cephas, the rest of the wide receivers on the roster have yet to play a significant role early in their careers. There are players like FSU transfer Malik McClain and redshirt sophomore Harrison Wallace who have gotten their feet wet and made some plays. But today, let’s review where Omari Evans and Kaden Saunders fit into the wide receiver rotation this fall.

Omari Evans made big strides this Spring

As we enter the 2023 season Penn State football wide receiver Omari Evans enters his sophomore year. The former three-star prospect was able to make the most of his reps during the 2022 season. He caught his first career touchdown against Ohio last season on a pass from QB Drew Allar. Evans has been able to build chemistry with Allar early on in his Penn State career, but where he made the biggest leap was from the 2022 Rose Bowl game to the 2023 Blue-White game in April.

Evans appeared to be the most confident receiver on the field during the Blue-White game, which is an encouraging sign of his progression. Penn State has always had that speedy wide receiver on the field ever since the KJ Hamler days. It’s hard to say if Evans is in a position to beat out Harrison Wallace or Malik McClain for the third wide receiver on the roster; however, it’s difficult to imagine offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich not having plays specifically for Omari Evans. Even if he isn’t a starter in the week 1 game against West Virginia, Evans has a chance to break out this fall.

Kaden Saunders has loads of potential

Everyone has different adjustment periods when they step on campus. Some Penn State players are able to contribute right away, and others need a year to adjust and develop. For redshirt freshman wide receiver Kaden Saunders that is exactly what the 2022 season was for him.

Saunders was a four-star recruit in the 2022 recruiting class, many expected him to have a larger impact last season, but he registered two catches for 21 yards against Ohio last season. During the Blue-White game, he made his presence known, making multiple contested catches across the middle of the field. It feels like Saunders will need to outplay multiple upper-classmen during fall camp to make a significant impact in 2023. However, if he is not in the rotation at wide receiver it would be great to see him returning punts for Penn State this fall.

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Former Editor-In-Chief at Victory Bell Rings, Morgan is the current Site Manager for Basic Blues Nation, host of the Basic Blues Podcast, and co-host of the weekly Penn State Roar Room spaces. Morgan lives in upstate New York with his wife and cats.


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