Penn State Football: Why Allen Robinson Is the Future of PSU's Offense

John McGonigalCorrespondent IINovember 20, 2012

Nov 17, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Allen Robinson (8) runs with the ball on his way to the end zone for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at Beaver Stadium.  Penn State defeated Indiana 45-22.  Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

After the departure of Justin Brown to Oklahoma and Derek Moye to the NFL, Penn State was longing for a reliable wide receiver heading into the 2012 season. 

While the system hadn't proved anything in Happy Valley at the time, it was expected before the campaign that the tight ends would produce in Bill O'Brien's scheme—but the wideouts were still a question.

The answer to that question became clear right off the bat in Allen Robinson, and he's consistently proven throughout this year that he's one of the best wide receivers in both the Big Ten and the country.

Robinson has hauled in 73 receptions for 983 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the Big Ten, the wideout is leading in both receptions per game and receiving yards per game. 

Robinson, who has emerged as quarterback Matt McGloin's clear No. 1 target, has performed especially well when the Lions are in a close game. When Penn State is winning the game by a margin of one to seven points, the Michigan native has snagged six touchdowns and 371 yards. 

Considering everything he's done this year, there are two things that many seem to forget: 1) he's just a sophomore, and 2) the only schools other than Penn State to offer him a scholarship out of high school were Buffalo, Toledo, and Minnesota.

Regardless, Robinson hasn't let those things hold him back, and he takes the same approach to opposing cornerbacks.

Robinson, who simply has a knack for making the big play, has developed his ability to adjust to balls in the air (see: this catch against Temple).

And that's just one reason why he's going to continue to succeed at Penn State.

While this year was a huge year for Robinson, who says he can't replicate it in 2013?

Assuming he doesn't transfer at year's end, the sophomore will be the featured piece in a pass-first offensive attack that's almost a lock to put up 30-plus points per game.

As a the big man on campus next year, the 6'2", deceivingly tall wideout will also have another year to thrive under Penn State wide receivers coach Stan Hixon, who has developed pass-catchers such as Stevie Johnson and Santana Moss.

The biggest question mark for Robinson's success next year will be something he can't control: the quarterback position.

With veteran signal-caller McGloin leaving after the season, it'll be interesting to see who takes over under center in 2013.

Will it be heralded No. 1 overall quarterback recruit Christian Hackenberg, or will he be redshirted? If he does, is it Steven Bench's job, or will JUCO gunslinger Jake Waters choose the Lions and take over next year?

Either way, one thing will remain constant: The lanky presence of Robinson, making Randy Moss-esque plays on helpless cornerbacks.

And as he's making these plays and others, Robinson will continue to build his brand as the future of Penn State's offense and one of the best receivers in college football.