Player Spotlight: Jahan Dotson

Audio/Story posted November 7, 2020 in CommRadio, Sports by Kathryn Tague

Though the Nittany Lions have not begun the season in the most favorable way, Jahan Dotson has had an outstanding start as a junior wide receiver for Penn State.

In last week’s game, his athletic one-handed catch contributed to one of three touchdowns for Dotson against Ohio State last Saturday. He talked to the press on Wednesday about the approach for this week’s game against Maryland.

“They have a lot of great athletes, but right now, we are just focusing on taking what they give us and executing the game plan. We have our set game plan, and they have theirs. We’re just going to have to go out there and execute. That’s what it is about at the end of the day every week. It’s just executing and making sure those little details are correct and making sure that we come out 1-0,” Dotson said.

Dotson, who also received some playing time as a freshman, discussed some of the younger guys who are stepping up and making an impact on the field. Specifically, starting freshman wide receiver Parker Washington.

“Parker kind of reminds me of me a little bit. He doesn’t say much, but you can just tell that he acts like he’s been there before. He is really calm about things. He really just takes on pressure situations like a vet would, honestly,” Dotson said.

The same goes for wide receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith who will join Washington on Saturday starting as a freshman.

“I saw as soon as he came in that he was gonna have a huge factor on us this season. And basically, he’s been consistent these past couple weeks. Whenever he gets the opportunity, he makes a play. And that’s pretty much all you can ask for,” Dotson said.

KJ Hamler served as that same mentor for Dotson during his time at Penn State. Both athletes had a great weekend as Hamler scored his first touchdown for the Broncos to win the game against the Chargers. Dotson commented on the success of his past teammates.

“When you see guys that you’ve played with, your brothers,  that you battled with on the field – you see them succeed at the next level, that’s all you can ask for,” Dotson said.

A lot of Dotson’s motivation comes from his family. In addition to his parents, who were in the crowd on Saturday with some aunts and uncles, Dotson’s late grandmother left a lasting impact on him.

“Ever since she passed, she’s been with me the whole time and I have just been asking her to be by my side – just keep me healthy and all of those things like that, look over us and look over the family and just little stuff like that,” Dotson said.

Despite a lack of hope for the initial goals for the season such as a conference championship or playoff spot, Dotson explains how his motivation for the rest of the season will come from his teammates.

“We all love each other and we don’t want to let each other down – that’s the biggest thing at the end of the day. We love each other so much and we want to battle for each other. Going out to practice everyday, making each other better, trying to win on Saturdays, going 1-0, executing, doing what our coaches say – that’s basically the biggest thing for us. We can’t focus on what’s down the road. We gotta focus on right now,” Dotson said.

The Maryland Terps will travel to State College this weekend to face the Dotson and Nittany Lions on Saturday.


Kathryn Tague is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email