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Jahan Dotson Left ‘Speechless’ After NFL Dream Came True

Former Penn State football wide receiver Jahan Dotson became an NFL player Thursday night when the Washington Commanders selected him with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Dotson is the first Nittany Lion wideout to hear his name called in the first round since Bryant Johnson in 2003. He’ll join fellow Penn Staters Shaka Toney and Troy Apke down in Washington.

“I was left speechless,” Dotson told reporters shortly after hearing his name called. “I couldn’t believe it. It’s pretty much all I’ve been working for all my life. I’m excited for the moment and ready to get to work.”

Prior to the draft, Dotson had just one meeting with the Commanders and wide receivers coach Drew Terrell. He was surprised when Washington drafted him in what he called a “pretty cool moment.”

Heading into the draft, Dotson and his agent were expecting the wideout to land somewhere late in the first round or early in the second round. Ultimately, there was a lot of uncertainty for Dotson, who’s just relieved to have been able to experience the moment surrounded by his family, friends, and “literally anyone you could think of.”

“I didn’t [expect to go as high as No. 16], to be honest with you,” Dotson said. “I had no idea where I was going to go tonight. I’m just happy I got to go tonight and share this moment with everyone who’s here.”

While waiting to hear his name called, most would think Dotson would be watching the draft to see how it’s unfolding. However, he was actually watching the NBA’s Suns-Pelicans playoff game on his phone to pass the time. When he did get the call, he didn’t quite recognize the number, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him from picking up.

“I was willing to roll the dice, I didn’t care who it was,” Dotson said. “It could’ve been President Obama calling me. I was going to answer it, and I was ready for the call — whoever it was.”

For Dotson, he now gets to call himself a Washington Commander. Not only that, but he can also say that he was a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. It’s a “dream come true,” simply put.

“It’s honestly a surreal moment,” Dotson said. “It’s hit me, but not fully I feel like. It’s crazy. All the hard work and days I’ve put in just to get to this moment. I’ve dreamed about it forever. It’s honestly crazy. I can’t even put it into words right now.”

A plethora of Dotson’s former teammates and coaches took to Twitter to congratulate the newest Commander, including James Franklin. Dotson’s old head coach raved about his character and on-field abilities.

“We are so proud of Jahan for being selected by the Washington Commanders,” Franklin said. “He will be a tremendous addition to the Commanders organization. Jahan has an intense, laser-like focus on greatness and a competitive edge that will serve him well at the next level.”

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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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