Penn football's wide receivers demonstrated in 2019 that they are forces to be reckoned with.
After the prior season was canceled due to COVID-19, the Red and Blue will be back out on the field for the first time in nearly two years on Sept.18 against Bucknell. Here are some returning wide receivers, as well as some newbies, to look out for this season.
Two of the Quakers' star seniors include Ryan Cragun and Rory Starkey Jr., who were both named to the 2021 Phil Steele Preseason All-Ivy League Team. Cragun hails from San Juan Capistrano, Calif. During his breakout season as a sophomore, he caught a team-best 58 passes for 885 yards, averaging 98.3 yards receiving per game. This performance earned him the Harry Gamble Football Club Award for distinct athletic achievement as well as the honor of second team All-Ivy.
Cragun ranked third in the Ivy League in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving yards per game, and ranked second in the Ivy League for catches per game. He earned the fifth-most receiving yards in a single game in program history and received a Stats FCS National Offensive Player of the Week Honorable Mention on October 28, 2019.
Starkey Jr., an Atlanta native, is another strong presence on the field. During his breakout sophomore season, he played in nine games. He notched seven touchdowns — a team high — and made 39 catches for 643 yards. Starkey Jr.'s seven touchdown grabs were good for third-best in the Ivy League. His performance marked the first season since 2000 in which Penn had two receivers with 640 yards or more.
Senior Owen Goldsberry, hailing from Arlington Heights, Ill. is the only other senior wide receiver on the team. In 2019, he appeared in six games, returned two kickoffs for 54 yards, made two tackles, completed one pass for 80 yards, and threw for one touchdown.
The Quakers have three sophomore wideouts who are looking to get some playing time for the first time this season. All served as captains of their high-school teams.
Joshua Casilli from McMurray, Pa. earned all-state honors in 2019, and was named Almanac MVP and a Kennywood All-Star that same year. Tanner Duve, from Culver City, Calif., led his high school squad to the Ocean League title in 2019. In addition to earning first-team All-League honors, he was also named Offensive Player of the Year for his team.Sterling Stokes, from Oakland, Calif., led his team to the 2018 North Coast Section Division 2 Championship.
Junior Malone Howley is also hoping to get some game action this season for the first time in his Penn career.
The Red and Blue have four freshmen eager to start their first college season. Julien Stokes, from Newbury Park, Calif., won the Camino League championships, earned the title of 2019 Acorn MVP and 2019 All-CIF.
Clay Petry, from San Diego, and Davis Ellis, from Jacksonville, Fla., were three-time letter winners and served as team captains of their respective high school teams. Kobe Comizo, from Greenwich, Conn., also served as team captain in high school. He was a member of Greenwich's undefeated 2018 State Championship team, and earned All-Region honors in 2019.
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