Justin Shorter arrived at Penn State one year ago as the nation's top wide receiver in the 2018 class, with expectations of stepping right into the lineup and providing big production in the wake of DaeSean Hamilton to the. The freshman's season was essentially over before it started, however.
During preseason fall camp, Shorter dislocated his kneecap. This completely halted Shorter's progression, both physically acclimating to the college level and even mentally as he needed to spend extra time rehabbing and healing. It takes a once-in-a-lifetime kind of talent to come off a dislocated kneecap during his true freshman season and light it up.
Shorter made a brief appearance in the Kent State game, but due to the injury and recovery, remained sidelined until November's Wisconsin game. All told, he played in just four contests, catching three passes for 20 yards.
Being the No. 1 overall wide receiver in the country, however, understandably comes with some lofty expectations. Shorter committed to Penn State as barely a four-star prospect. Once camps rolled around and more national eyes could get their eyes on him, he blew up. Shorter regularly dominated defensive backs with ease. Even playing in a run-first offense, Shorter still dominated New Jersey football.
Going into 2019, Shorter is finally rounding into form. After graduations and transfers, he is lined up to be the starting X receiver for Penn State. Shorter could bring the reliability and playmaking that escaped the wide receivers last season. His goal is Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and one good year should do the trick in moving on from what may have felt like a "wasted" first year on campus.