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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State All 105: WR Omari Evans a Breakout Candidate in Year 3

Photo by Matt Lynch, Nittany Sports Now: Omari Evans

Penn State football needs more production out of its receivers in 2024 than it got in 2023, and third-year WR Omari Evans could help them get it.

Last season, KeAndre Lambert-Smith, had just 673 yards, and Lambert-Smith now plays for Auburn.

The addition of Julian Fleming, who entered the transfer portal this winter after four seasons at Ohio State, should help. But aside from Fleming, who is the team’s No. 1 receiver, the rest of Penn State’s help will likely have to come from players that were part of the 2023 roster.

Evans is one of those players, and he’s the subject in this edition of All 105, a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State player.

Height: 6-feet

Weight: 185 pounds

Hometown: Killeen, Texas

Before Penn State: Omari Evans played at Robert M. Shoemaker High School in Killeen, Texas, where he was a team captain as a senior. In his senior year, he recorded 853 receiving yards, 818 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns. He played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back for Shoemaker. He was a four-star recruit according to ESPN and a three-star recruit according to Rivals, On3, and 247Sports.

2022: Evans appeared in all 13 games for Penn State, posting five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. He returned two kickoffs for 33 yards.

The touchdown Evans caught was also the first that former five-star QB Drew Allar threw in his college career. Allar is now entering his second season as Penn State’s starter.

Last year: Evans ended his sophomore season with four catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.

60 of those yards came on a big reception in the team’s regular season finale against Michigan State at Detroit’s Ford Field.

Where he stands: Evans now is experienced enough that it won’t be an excuse for him not cracking the starting lineup Week 1. Fleming and Harrison “Trey” Wallace III are the odds on favorites for the first two positions. But the third one appears to be up for grabs. Evans’ best chance to start appears to be through beating out classmate Kaden Saunders and fourth-year WR Liam Clifford for the starting slot position.

Depending on how often first-year offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki wants to use four and five-receiver sets, Evans could still receive a good chunk of playing time even if he isn’t a starter.

A quote Evans: “It boosted my confidence a lot. When you do that in front of a lot of people, in front of your coaches, consistently, then your is going to boost a lot. My confidence is pretty high right now.” — Evans after the 2023 Blue-White Game in which he scored the only touchdown.

A quote about Evans: “He’s got all the tools. We got to grind through it and continue to get him good at his craft because to your point, you know, he mainly played quarterback in high school and was mainly like an athletic quarterback but he’s excited and we have the talent in the room currently. We just got to grind through it and we can’t throw enough.” — Coach James Franklin

More All 105s

CB A.J. Harris

CB Jalen Kimber

WR Julian Fleming 

S KJ Winston

WR Liam Clifford

S Jaylen Reed 

LB Dom DeLuca

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