All 105 is a Nittany Sorts Now series profiling each Penn State football player. In this edition, we’ll profile third-year tight end Khalil Dinkins.
Weight: 246 pounds
Hometown: Wexford, Pennsylvania
Before Penn State: The son of Darnell Dinkins, who played eight seasons in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints in the 2009 season, Khalil Dinkins made a name for himself at North Allegheny High School near Pittsburgh, where he was teammates with former Penn State defensive back and new Pittsburgh Steeler Joey Porter Jr. for two seasons. At North Allegheny, which is known as one of western Pennsylvania’s best football programs, Dinkins got used to winning. The Tigers went 36-3 over Dinkins’ four seasons with the team, and Dinkins played a big part in it. In 2020, Dinkins, a team captain, finished the year with 413 receiving yards and six touchdowns, helping the Tigers to an appearance in the WPIAL championship game. Dinkins, who was also a star on North Allegheny’s basketball team, was a three-star prospect according to 247Sports’ composite rankings and committed to Penn State in October of 2020.
2021: Dinkins redshirted his freshman season, but impressed on Penn State’s developmental squad, twice earning offensive player of the week. Dinkins only appeared in one game.
2022: Dinkins played in 10 of 13 games, catching four passes for 53 yards. He caught his first college touchdown pass— a 28-yarder— Sept. 10 in the team’s home opener against Ohio.
Where he stands: Although Penn State lost new Jacksonville Jaguar Brenton Strange to the draft, the team should still be solid at the position. Penn State returns Theo Johnson and Tyler Warren, and also has ‘22 four-star Jerry Cross— who was injured last season and redshirted— set to make his college debut. Penn State also has four-star Andrew Rappleyea and three-star Joey Schlaffer signed to its 2023 class. Although Dinkins is still part of a crowded position group, Strange’s departure opens a door, and Dinkins is more than capable of running through it. His 6-foot-4 frame helps make him a solid red zone target for QB Drew Allar.
A quote by Dinkins: “I really built a connection with them. Between Coach Terry (Smith), Coach Franklin and Coach (Tyler) Bowen, I feel good about all of them. I’m really excited for them to coach me. To have Coach Franklin as my head coach and Coach Bowen as a tight ends coach is exciting. Then, I have Coach Smith, who I feel like I can talk to about anything. I feel like I’ve built a real connection with them.” — Dinkins to Rivals.com on why he committed to Penn State
A quote about Dinkins: “Khalil (Dinkins) has really done some nice things. (He has) taken some strides. Like a lot of inexperienced players, he has to be more consistent— he does some great things one day, or one play, and there’s others where he is not as consistent as he needs to be. But he has a ton of potential and a ton of talent. I’m proud of him. He has come a long way in the past year, but we need him to grow.”