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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State All 105: TE Khalil Dinkins Going Into new Role, new Offense

Khalil Dinkins celebrates his 9 yard touchdown reception in the first half.

Khalil Dinkins is one of Penn State football’s most experienced players.

The tight end has been with PSU since the 2021 season but hasn’t yet become one of the team’s top two tight ends.

For Dinkins’ first two seasons at Penn State, he was behind Brenton Strange and Theo Johnson on the depth chart.

Strange went to the NFL after the 2022 season, and Johnson did the same after last season. But Penn State’s TE depth is still strong, with Tyler Warren expected to be the team’s No. 1 TE and maybe the first one off the board in next year’s draft.

Dinkins is expected to be the second tight end behind Warren, and new offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki is known for using tight ends well. Dinkins is the latest subject of All 105, a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State player.

Height: 6-foot-4 

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 current 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 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.

Last year: Dinkins played in 12 of 13 games, ending the season with five catches for 57 yards and two touchdowns.

Where he stands: As with any player on the offense, a lot of Dinkins’ success will depend on new coordinator Andy Kotelnicki. Kotelnicki knows how to coach tight ends, as evidence by the fact that he interviews for Penn State’s vacant tight end coaching position before the 2021 season. Even with former OC Mike Yurcich, Penn State was known for using two-tight end sets, and there’s no reason to think that will change. The question is whether Dinkins will be able to fend off second-year tight ends Andrew Rappleyea and Joey Schlaffer, as well as five-star true freshman TE Luke Reynolds, for the second tight end position.

A quote by Dinkins: “It kind of moved in slow motion. Catch it. Touchdown. Ain’t nothing better than that.” — Dinkins after scoring a touchdown against Iowa in the White Out game last September

A quote about Dinkins: He’s big, he is strong, he is fast and he’s matured a ton since he’s been on campus.” — coach James Franklin at Big Ten Media Days in Indianapolis last July.

More All 105s

DE Amin Vanover 

LB Tyrece Mills

QB Jaxon Smolik

S DaKarri Nelson

LB Tony Rojas

RB Kaytron Allen

CB Jon Mitchell

WR Anthony Ivey

DE Abdul Carter

RB Nicholas Singleton

QB Beau Pribula 

WR Tyler Johnson

CB Zion Tracy

WR Kaden Saunders

WR Trey Wallace 

S Zakee Wheatley

CB Cam Miller

WR Omari Evans

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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