Wide receiver Parker Washington won’t just aim to fill Dotson’s shoes, but the rising sophomore enters the 2022 campaign as one of the more prolific players at his position in the nation.
As the season looms, Washington has caught more touchdowns from the slot than any wide receiver since the beginning of the 2020 campaign.
Big Ten WRs with the most touchdowns out of the slot since 2020
1️⃣ Parker Washington: 10
2️⃣ Jaxon Smith-Njigba: 9
2️⃣ Garrett Wilson: 9 pic.twitter.com/sMdLvg1PCV
— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 15, 2022
Last season, Washington caught 64 passes for 820 yards and four touchdowns. However, what gives the Nittany Lions so much reason for optimism is the fact that the Sugar Land, Texas native has averaged 13.1 yards per reception through his first two seasons in Happy Valley.
Now the elder statesman of a wide receiver room that also includes highly-touted freshman Kaden Saunders and Anthony Ivey, Washington has already hauled in 10 touchdowns in his career.
Washington will undoubtedly climb quarterback Sean Clifford’s target hierarchy this fall. Given his prowess in the slot, it will be fascinating to see if Penn State Football continues to deploy him from there, or moves him outside.
Clifford’s experience, entering his second season in coordinator Mike Yurchich’s scheme, and sixth in a Nittany Lions uniform, should stand to benefit Washington in a possible breakout campaign.
“I’ve seen every look in this offense specifically, I know the terminology like it was the back of my hand,” Clifford said, via The Athletic. “I know what plays we want to be in in to certain looks and when we get a look that I don’t like I know the checks that get us out of those looks. … You’re gonna see me at the line talking to the O-linemen a lot more, making sure that we’re in the right play 95, 100 percent of the time.”
He also might hold the keys to Penn State Football’s success or failure on offense.