UNIVERSITY PARK - When Geno Lewis arrived at Penn State in 2012, Allen Robinson took him under his wing and served as his mentor.
At the time, no one knew Robinson was about to explode, since he had caught only three passes the year before as a freshman. Then A-Rob set a school record with 77 catches as a sophomore before obliterating the mark with 97 last season.
Robinson is now in the NFL, and it's time to see if Lewis has what it takes to take a giant leap forward from his freshman to sophomore season.
It's unfair to expect Lewis to catch anywhere near 77 passes this season, but as the Nittany Lions' No. 1 receiver, he will be in line to blow past his 18 grabs a year ago.
"I'm excited for this season," said Lewis, a redshirt sophomore. "I'm happy and humbled to be put in the position that I'm in right now, and I'm ready to just go out here this season and have a great year."
Robinson was a great route runner, first and foremost, and just as good going up and catching the ball.
What are the strengths of Lewis' game?
"I definitely go up and get the ball," he said. "I have great hands. My route running is getting really good. I'm confident in it right now, and it's just going to keep getting better."
Lewis tied for fourth on the team with his 18 catches last season and was fourth with 234 yards receiving. He caught three TDs, including a 59-yarder in the season finale at Wisconsin that helped the Lions upset the Badgers.
Robinson took a lot of pressure off the rest of the receivers last season because so much attention had to be paid to him, yet he still put up huge numbers. The biggest difference for Lewis this year is he will draw the opposing team's top cornerback, making him the No. 1 wide receiver priority for defensive coordinators.
Route running will be key for him, as will studious work in the film room breaking down defensive tendencies.
Chemistry with quarterback Christian Hackenberg, of course, will be as important as anything for Lewis and the other receivers. They've all been working on that this summer.
"You've got to come and run routes in the morning, you've got to watch film together just to get on the same page so everybody knows what's going on," Lewis said.
The summer throwing sessions and film work are 50-50 when it comes to importance, Lewis said. The players have a good time and keep things loose during those times together.
"If you see something you need to speak on, you just go ahead and speak," Lewis said of the film work. "It's a serious thing, but we laugh and joke sometimes.
"You don't want it to be like (all business) because sometimes it can get uncomfortable. You want to be loose and comfortable around each other, so you always want to have a good time and make sure things are right with each other."