Local product Kenney making impact for Penn State

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --- Matt McGloin’s longest pass of the game -- a 30-yard touchdown connection in the fourth quarter -- was caught by Allen Robinson, which should be no surprise.


Robinson, the 6-foot-3 sophomore, has emerged as McGloin’s favorite target and the Nittany Lions No. 1 receiver this season.


McGloin’s second longest pass? A 24-yard throw to a player to set up first and goal and the five yard line. The receiver spent most of last season as a cornerback. 


Alex Kenney, a State College native, has emerged as a breakout wide receiver to watch this season. In the 17-16 loss to Virginia, the redshirt sophomore posted a pair of career-long catches -- 23 and 24 yards -- in the third quarter as Penn State strung together a 13-play, 72-yard drive (which ended in a missed 20-yard field goal by Sam Ficken). 


Kenney’s three receptions were also a career-high as he collected 50 yards. 


“I try to do whatever I’m taught in practice,” said Kenney, who began practicing as a wide receiver before the TicketCity Bowl last season. “Coach Hicks is doing a great job, and if I get the ball I’m just going to try and make the play.”  


Speed is one of Kenney’s best quality, and look out for him as a candidate to possibly return punts later this season. The 6-foot, 192-pound local product competed for Penn State’s track and field team in the offseason. He posted a team-best :06.96 at the 2011 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships.


For now, though, he’s just focused on grasping the new position. So far, he seems to be doing a pretty good job.


-Emily Kaplan