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Jahan Dotson Continues To Amaze With Record-Breaking Night Against Maryland

Jahan Dotson carries a football with him everywhere he goes.

Whether he’s walking out of the locker room after the game to speak with the media, walking to class, or when he’s just hanging out in his room, Dotson always has a football with him.

Quarterback Sean Clifford said he hasn’t really seen anyone else on the team do that. That’s just one of the things that makes Dotson so unique. That, and the fact that week-after-week he continues to amaze people all over the country with his spectacular performances.

In Penn State’s 31-14 win over Maryland Saturday, Dotson set the program’s single-game receiving yards record with 242 yards. Additionally, he hauled in a season-high 11 catches and three touchdowns in what was the best performance of his collegiate career.

While the numbers Dotson put up are quite unprecedented, James Franklin is hardly shocked by his wideout’s play. Dotson of course continues to impress his head coach on the field, but to Franklin, it goes deeper than that.

“I’m not surprised at all by what he did tonight, Franklin said. “They were playing very aggressive man coverage –either cover one or cover zero. We knew if we got the ball in his hands he could make those types of plays. He’s really done it his entire career. I say it all the time… I’m super proud of not only Jahan Dotson on the football field, but the type of young man he is, how his parents raised him, the type of student he is.”

“He’s the perfect representation of what we want to be at Penn State,” Franklin said. “So, I’m not surprised at all. He’s got a very bright future, and I’m a big fan, as you could imagine.”

Dotson’s first touchdown came in the first quarter when he pulled out a filthy double move to get wide open down the field.

He certainly showed off his footwork on the 38-yard touchdown, which is one of the little things that Dotson does to elevate his game. According to linebacker Ellis Brooks, Dotson is always focused on perfecting his craft and the little details.

“His attention to detail,” Brooks said. “I come in and I see how he works every single day. Like I said, the attention to detail he puts into his craft, and it shows out there on Saturdays. He’s a great example of just practice promotes performance. It’s showing out for him right now.”

Clifford also commented on Dotson’s work ethic, saying it’s one of the reasons why he’s a role model in the locker room.

“His work ethic is unmatched,” Clifford said. “He’s a role model to a lot of the younger guys. So, he’s somebody to look up to.”

Dotson, through three quarters, had already caught seven passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Penn State’s offense took the field early in the fourth quarter fresh off a game-tying touchdown drive from the Terrapins.

While Dotson and the rest of the offense were on the bench, he said fellow wideout Daniel George came up to him and told him that “we’re going to need you.” Well, it’s safe to say Dotson understood the message.

On the second play of the drive, Dotson completely shifted the momentum back Penn State’s way with an 86-yard touchdown to put the Nittany Lions up 21-14.

“Any chance to kind of swing the game, I look at that opportunity as a challenge for me,” Dotson said about the momentum-shifting touchdown. “I take full faith in that opportunity.”

With around 20 family members in the crowd, some of whom have never seen him play in-person before, Dotson put on an absolute show.

“I’m literally a kid out here having fun, playing the game I love,” Dotson said. “Games like this are special. I had a lot of my family members here today. A lot of them were seeing me play for the first time.”

While talking about his family, Dotson started to get emotional and even had tears in his eyes. He expressed his gratitude toward his family for all the sacrifices they’ve made for him. He specifically mentioned his parents working two jobs growing up and making sure he was always put in the best situation to succeed.

For Dotson, it meant a whole lot for him to have his family there for this game.

“It’s huge,” Dotson said. “It was really fun doing it. I’m happy people that got to see me play for the first time — this was the one game they got to see.”

It’s safe to say Dotson is firmly establishing himself as one of the greatest wide receivers in program history. His breakout season last year put him on the map, but this year he’s really making it a reality.

This past offseason, Dotson was presented with a difficult decision — stay at Penn State for another year, or, declare for the NFL Draft and line himself up for potentially a huge payday. Dotson’s decision came down to one simple thing: Happiness.

“Happiness trumps it all,” Dotson said. “Being with these guys every single day, that’s all I can dream about. These are the guys I’ve been with for four years now. I came in as a little 18-year-old. They’ve seen me grow in others ways people haven’t. Being with these guys one last year, it was big for me. I love these guys to death.”

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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