Check back here for position-by-position breakdowns of the Penn State depth chart leading up to the start of the 2018 season.

Here are the Nittany Lions' wide receivers and tight ends going into the season. We have also reviewed the quarterbacksdefensive linemen, linebackersrunning backs, offensive linedefensive backs, and special teams.

Wide receivers

Juwan Johnson

6-4, 231, R-Jr., Glassboro, N.J.

The only one of Penn State's top four receivers from last season to be returning, Johnson is ready to assume the role as the No. 1 target for Trace McSorley this season. He finished second on the team last year in both receptions (54) and receiving yards (701). The 2017 honorable mention all-Big Ten player blossomed into a dependable target — 38 of his catches went for first downs — with good hands and the size to come up with the reception against shorter defenders. He only had one touchdown catch last season but it was a game-winner — a 7-yard strike from McSorley on the last play, giving the Nittany Lions a 21-19 victory over Iowa. Head coach James Franklin said the chemistry Johnson has developed with McSorley could result in a big season for the South Jersey player.

DeAndre Thompkins

5-11, 188, Gr., Hubert, N.C.

Thompkins led the Nittany Lions in average receiving yards, gaining 15.8 per game, while catching 28 passes for 443 yards and three touchdowns. Two of his TDs were impressive – a 37-yard catch of a 50-50 ball against Ohio State that was initially ruled an interception but overturned on review, and a 70-yard reception at Michigan State. He also is likely to return punts this season; last year, he averaged 13.3 yards on 24 returns and became the first Lion since Derrick Williams in 2008 to run back a punt for a touchdown. He is one of nine Nittany Lions to already have his undergraduate degree.

Brandon Polk

5-9, 180, R-Jr., Ashburn, Va.

Polk, a high school teammate of McSorley at Briar Woods High School in Virginia, came off a medical redshirt in 2016 to play in all 13 games last season, catching 10 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. He also could be in the mix as a kickoff returner. He posted the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.39 seconds) of all wide receivers at winter workouts.

K.J. Hamler

5-9, 176, R-Fr., Pontiac, Mich.

Hamler showed flashes of his speed and elusiveness at last April's Blue-White Game when he caught a 43-yard pass from McSorley. Before finishing his high school career at IMG Academy in Florida, he was a two-year letterman at Orchard Park St. Mary's (Mich.), the alma mater of former Penn State All-America Allen Robinson.

Mac Hippenhammer

5-11, 185, R-Fr., Fort Wayne, Ind.

Hippenhammer, who also played last season for the Nittany Lions' baseball team, caught a game-high four passes at Blue-White and scored two touchdowns. He finished his high school career with 3,744 all-purpose yards and 24 total TDs.

Jahan Dotson

5-11, 175, Fr., Nazareth, Pa.

Dotson, a four-star prospect who was a state champion in the long jump, may find playing time if head coach James Franklin's recent praise is any indication. "He's very natural, a fluid guy," Franklin said. "He never gets rattled, has consistent hands. Everything is effortless for him."

Jonathan Holland is at the top of the Nittany Lions’ depth chart a tight end.
Adam Lacy / Cal Sport Media
Jonathan Holland is at the top of the Nittany Lions’ depth chart a tight end.

Tight ends

Jonathan Holland

6-4, 252, R-Jr., Brandywine, Md.

Holland accounted for three of the four career catches among the Nittany Lions' returning tight ends, and no one is suggesting he can be the next Mike Gesicki. But Franklin was pleased early in camp to see how Holland has improved his blocking and called him the most consistent at his position in that area. Holland also has seen action the previous two seasons on special teams.

Nick Bowers

6-4, 269, R-Jr., Kittanning, Pa.

A third-generation college football player, Bowers sat out his first season with the program as a redshirt and missed his second season with an injury before finally making his college debut last Oct. 7 at Northwestern. His only reception in his three games went for a touchdown, a 15-yarder against Nebraska.

Danny Dalton

6-4, 251, R-So., Marshfield, Mass.

Dalton, ranked as the top high school player in Massachusetts his senior year, has yet to see a single snap of playing time in his two seasons at Penn State.

Zack Kuntz

6-7, 241, Fr., Camp Hill, Pa.

Pat Freiermuth

6-5, 260, Fr., Merrimac, Mass.

Kuntz enrolled at Penn State in January. Like many high school tight ends, he arrived in Happy Valley with a good pair of hands but little blocking experience. Freiermuth appears to be the better blocker of the pair but both will have a learning curve to go through before they see game action.