The early National Signing Day bolstered an already loaded incoming class of offensive weapons for Penn State when former UCLA commit Jahan Dotson flipped to the Nittany Lions.
The four-star wide receiver from Nazareth, PA, originally selected the Bruins Sept. 4 when Jim Mora was still the head coach. Dotson is the fifth-best prospect from the Keystone State this cycle and the No. 35 receiver in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite.
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Before Dotson committed to UCLA in September, the Nittany Lions had been a favorite to land the prized, shifty receiver. At the time, Penn State was running out of offers. Since then, however, the Nittany Lions have regained some flexibility given Dorian Hardy and Isheem Young’s lost scholarships and Antwan Reed’s decommitment. Chip Kelly replaced Mora in Westwood, a personnel change that Dotson wasn’t sold on. Shortly after Kelly’s hire, Dotson noted that he was giving schools like Penn State and Wisconsin other looks.
Dotson is the latest offensive asset to commit to Penn State, following fellow five-star receiver Justin Shorter and four-star Daniel George as well as a pair of brawny four-star tight ends, Zack Kuntz and Pat Freiermuth, in building up the program’s receiving corps of the future.
At 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, Dotson adds a different dimension to the Nittany Lions with his breakaway speed and shifty running ability. He already runs a 4.46 40-yard dash and is quite versatile on the field, two strengths that will fit in with Penn State’s explosive offense that coordinator Ricky Rahne will inherit. Although Dotson is listed as a wide receiver, he also takes handoffs out of the backfield, returns kicks, and displays a strong arm as a dual-threat wildcat quarterback.
Dotson burst onto the scene during an injury shortened junior season when her averaged 21.9 yards per catch (!) and 11.4 yards per rushing attempt (!!) for New Jersey prep school Peddie. In just five games, he ran for 251 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries, caught 23 passes for 503 yards and three touchdowns, and threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns while completing 12-of-22 passes. The absurd stat line for his standout junior season didn’t end there for Dotson; he also had two 100+ yard rushing touchdowns and a pair of interceptions during those five games.
Dotson returned to Nazareth, where he played his freshman and sophomore years, for his senior season and picked up right where he left off a year before. Dotson pulled in 15 touchdowns, threw for three scores, and ran for another one, while accumulating 1,189 yards.