Moseby-Felder making most of opportunity

Penn State WR Brandon Moseby-Felder has 25 catches for 362 yards and one touchdown this season. Rich Barnes/US PRESSWIRE

Allen Robinson didn't have to say anything.

He disguised his routes, pulled down catches with black-and-blue Nike gloves and always seemed open back in March practices. Receivers coach Stan Hixon realized "right off the bat" Robinson would be a special player.

Brandon Moseby-Felder -- who's since become Matt McGloin's No. 3 target -- wasn't so fortunate.

The redshirt junior crumpled to the turf with a severely strained hamstring after the first week of spring practice. Unable to show Hixon what he was capable of on the field, he tried to tell him everything he could do. Over and over again.

"He's been telling me all along how good he is," Hixon said Thursday. "And with me, 'It's OK, we'll see.' "

Moseby-Felder’s ability wasn’t seen for much of the four seasons he watched from the sideline. He missed his high school senior season with a blown-out knee -- redshirted his freshman season as a result -- and seemed to pinball between the practice field and training room.

But when Justin Brown transferred and Shawney Kersey quit, Hixon scrambled to find the next man up. Moseby-Felder wasn't the obvious choice because of that lingering hamstring injury. But he turned out to be the best one.

The speedy wideout -- who claimed he ran a sub 4.4 the last time he was clocked -- has seen more passing targets every week. His stats have climbed the last four games: from 34 yards to 60, 70, and then a breakout game of 129 yards.

"We had a lot of talks over the offseason," Moseby-Felder said, referring to Hixon. "He expected me to do a lot of big things for him this year, but that kind of went down after I got hurt -- and I guess now it's picking back up."

Moseby-Felder, who enrolled as a 164-pound athlete, devoted himself to the new strength program and spent nights learning the playbook when he couldn't fine-tune his technique on the field. And, according to cornerback Stephon Morris, that hard work has paid dividends.

He said no offensive player has improved more.

"He's come a long way," Morris said. "He's been one of those kids that we haven't really noticed his first four years here, but he got the opportunity to play this year with people leaving and getting hurt and things like that. But I always knew he had it in him.

"This is the first year he finally felt confident and got back to his old form. He's a great talent and great person to be around."

He's emerged as McGloin's No. 3 target. And, with tight end Kyle Carter's injury, McGloin could look his way even more. With 25 catches so far, more than tripling his previous career totals, Moseby-Felder is already on pace for a memorable season.

Bill O'Brien remarked earlier this week how he's fine-tuned his route-running and developed into a solid blocker. Hixon said, by Week 4 or 5, his speed finally returned and he's added a dimension to this passing game. His teammates have lauded his improvement.

Moseby-Felder no longer has to tap on Hixon's shoulder or insist how good he can be. He doesn't have to say anything anymore.

Everybody already knows.