UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ)– Penn State is just five days away from their opening showdown against number 12 Wisconsin. It’s a new season where all eyes are on the Nittany Lions offense.
One of the keys to the 2021 offense will be wide receiver Jahan Dotson. 2020 was a breakout year for Dotson, who found himself at the center of Penn State’s passing attack. He led the team in yards, receptions, touchdowns, and jaw-dropping moments.
“He’s just a guy who has tremendous body control and made everything look easy,” Said Head Coach James Franklin. “Sometimes you don’t think he’s running very fast because he’s just so fluid in the way he does it, but no one catches him. He’s subtle kind of with his moves.”
Dotson’s one-handed catch against Ohio State was his arrival moment in college football, but this year the senior wants fans to notice his speed.
“This camp I’ve really been focusing on playing with speed all the time, controlling my speed, knowing when to use it and when not to use it,” said Dotson. “I know it’s a great weapon for me.”
This offseason Dotson reportedly ran a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash, drawing comparisons to former Nittany Lion, K.J Hamler. And like Hamler, Dotson’s speed will now also be showcased on special teams.
“I look at punt returning as a way to change the game. That’s what we preach every single game is special teams can change a game,” Dotson said. “Every time I’m back there and I can get the ball in my hands I feel like I can change the game.”
As Dotson looks for more opportunities to change a game, it’s no coincidence that he’s driven by a moment that could have changed an outcome. In 2019 against Minnesota, Dotson tripped on the 10-yard line on what would have been a game winning touchdown and a few plays later, Penn State threw an interception and lost the game.
“You gotta be ready whenever your number is called. That game I think I had like maybe two catches towards the end of the game and I was kind of cold during the game and I just hadn’t got my feet wet in the game, but I noticed in that moment that your number can be called at any point in time during the game.”
While it would be impossible to speculate what Dotson will do this year, we can see a glimpse of what he could do after seeing James Washington catch 75 passes for more than 1,500 yards with offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich.
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