Dante Cephas, a 6-foot 1 wide receiver from Kent State, committed to Penn State Football via the transfer portal this offseason.
Cephas was arguably the best wide receiver in the transfer portal with the traits to be a true number one wide receiver for Penn State Football in 2023 and a favorite target for projected new starting quarterback Drew Allar.
Here are three traits that make Dante Cephas a perfect match for Penn State Football
Cephas brings a ton of experience to a Penn State wide receiver room that lacks experience as a whole.
Outside of Cephas, Penn State Football returns only two wide receivers with double digit career receptions, Keandre Lambert-Smith with 73 and Harrison Wallace with 19.
Cephas brings 145 catches, 2139 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns worth of experience with him to Penn State.
Alone, Cephas has 10 career games with 100 or more receiving yards. The only receiver on Penn State’s 2023 roster who has a 100 receiving yard game is Lambert Smith, who reached the statistic for the first time in Penn State’s Rose Bowl win.
In fact, Cephas alone also has more 100 yard receiving games in the past two years than all Penn State Football receivers combined over the same period. Cephas ranks third on the all time receiving yards list at Kent State.
Penn State’s receiving room is full of young talent, but Cephas gives Penn State needed experience to pair with a new starting quarterback in Drew Allar.
Penn State Football pass catchers have suffered from untimely drops for several years.
In 2022, Penn State had dropped passes from three different targets in a narrow win over Purdue to start the season, where drops could have easily led to an opening loss that would have crippled Penn State’s Rose Bowl chances just as the season began.
Even at the end of the season in the Rose Bowl, up one score in the third quarter and trying to add to the lead, Harrison Wallace dropped a wide open pass over the middle that would have converted a key third down.
Likewise in 2021, Penn State Football dropped several passes in the second half during the fateful loss to Iowa after Sean Clifford left the game with an injury.
Adding Cephas to the room gives Penn State a surehanded wide receiver that should help alleviate drop concerns.
In 2022, Cephas had only 5 drops over 76 targets on the season. Cephas’ tape shows off his ability to catch deep balls on the run and catch in traffic. His catching ability, especially on deep balls down the field, will elevate the Penn State passing offense by adding a sure handed number 1 wide receiver to the mix.
Home run threat
With Parker Washington off to the NFL draft, Penn State Football loses one of its top playmakers over the past few seasons down the field.
Cephas should fill in nicely as a playmaker who can catch the ball and then make plays with his feet after the catch.
In 2022, Cephas had 744 receiving yards. A staggering 315 of those yards came after the catch.
With the ball in his hands, Cephas has the ability to extend the play and pick up huge chunks of yards after the catch. Cephas averaged 15.5 yards per catch in 2022 and 15.1 yards per catch in 2021.
As a home run threat, Cephas had long receptions of 54 yards in 2022, 80 yards in 2021, and 50 yards in 2020.
On tape, Cephas shows both the ability to run past corners to get open on the sideline down the field and the ability to catch a ball over the middle short and make plays with his feet to extend plays and turn a 10 or 15 yard catch into a home run.
Cephas should be a favorite target for Allar down the field as the Nittany Lions try to connect more on deep passes next season.
Connecting on deep passes will open up the field more for the two-headed monster backfield that Penn State has returning in Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen.
With Cephas in the fold, the Penn State offense should be as explosive as any team under James Franklin.
Cephas’ commitment is a huge addition to Penn State’s roster for 2023. Cephas will be a playmaker for the Nittany Lions. His experience, sure hands, and home run threat ability will add another dimension to the Penn State offense that is building for a special run over the next two seasons.