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Penn State WR Jahan Dotson announces his return to Nittany Lions for 2021

Penn State football's top offensive player will return for the 2021 season

Penn State's offensive outlook ahead of the 2021 season got a big boost Thursday.

Announcing his decision via Twitter, third-team All-Big Ten junior wide receiver Jahan Dotson says he will return for another season with the Nittany Lions.

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Dotson scored a 75-yard touchdown against Illinois in Penn State's final game of the season. (Steve Manuel/BWI)

The 5-foot-11, 182-pound Dotson is coming off a breakout season with the Nittany Lions as the team's feature target in an otherwise youthful unit of receivers.

He finished the season with 52 receptions for 884 yards and eight touchdowns in nine games, all team-highs, and added 197 yards and another score on eight punt returns. Dotson was also easily the Lions' most frequent target, earning 84 looks from Penn State's quarterbacks. For comparison, Parker Washington earned 58 targets, while KeAndre Lambert-Smith earned 23.

Maybe equally as important was his knack for making the big play, notching 18 receptions of more than 15 yards. He scored receiving touchdowns of 60, 68, 70 and 75 yards in nine games.

Dotson was among the Big Ten's leaders at the position, finishing fourth in average yards per game (98.2), sixth in receptions per game (5.8) and fourth in average yards per catch (17.0). Due to the Nittany Lions being one of only two teams in the conference to play all nine of its games, Dotson led the conference in receiving touchdowns and receiving yards. He was also second overall in total receptions.

For the effort, Dotson was rewarded with a third-team All-Big Ten selection by the conference coaches and media in a crowded group of receivers. He was also second-team All-Big Ten according to Pro Football Focus.

Speaking of PFF, Dotson was the sixth-ranked wide receiver in the conference, finishing with a grade of 77.9. That may seem low, but it's important to remember that wide receiver was easily the best position group in the conference this season, as Ty Fryfogle, Rashod Bateman, Garett Wilson, Chris Olave and Wan'Dale Robinson all had very good years.

Wide receiver was very deep across the board in 2020. It's believed that the depth in the upcoming NFL Draft was part of the reason Dotson decided to return. Despite his standout season, he likely would've been a day three selection.


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