Penn State's Jahan Dotson will forgo the Outback Bowl to prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft, ending a season in which he became just the second receiver in school history to reach the 90-catch milestone.
Dotson announced his decision on social media. Penn State is scheduled to play Arkansas in the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl in Tampa.
"It's been nothing but special to wear the Blue & White these past four years," Dotson wrote in a Twitter post. "I will forever be thankful for the love Happy Valley has shown me and the people it has brought into my life."
An AP third-team All-American, Dotson finished his Penn State career second in receptions (183) and tied for second in receiving touchdowns (25). He ranks second in career 100-yard receiving games (11) and fourth in receiving yards (2,757).
Dotson became the second Penn State All-American to opt out of the bowl game Monday. Earlier, safety Jaquan Brisker announced plans to forgo the Outback Bowl as well. Four Lions' starters (including linebackers Ellis Brooks and Brandon Smith) have chosen not to play in the bowl game.
Dotson, who could have left early for the 2021 NFL Draft, turned his decision to return into one of the finest seasons in Penn State history. He caught 91 passes for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns, joining Allen Robinson as the only Penn State receivers with 90-catch seasons. Dotson also set the program's single-game yardage record with 242 against Maryland.
Dotson (5-11, 184 pounds) is among the top-ranked receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft class and a potential first-round pick. ESPN ranks Dotson as the No. 20 overall prospect in the class and the No. 5 receiver.
NFL Draft Bible ranks Dotson fifth among draft-eligible receivers, saying he is "simply a natural pass-catcher and makes every reception look easy."
"Jahan Dotson is a quick, undersized receiver for the Nittany Lions with extremely solid production over the past two seasons," according to NFL Draft Bible. "He wins with quickness and agility as a route runner. As a pass-catcher, he makes himself bigger than he is with a wider catch radius than expected, as well as being natural with his hands. He may lack the true long speed and physicality to play as a vertical receiver on the outside. His best role will be as a slot receiver who can shift and move around to keep the defense on their toes."
Dotson said he wanted to leave Penn State with a legacy. Here's just a sampling of what he accomplished:
- Is the only Power Five receiver this season, and one of two FBS receivers, with at least 90 receptions, 1,180 yards and 12 touchdowns in their first 12 games.
- Is the first Big Ten player since Braylon Edwards (Michigan, 2004) to record at least 90 receptions, 1,180 yards and 12 touchdowns in his first 12 games of the season.
- Ranks second in the Big Ten in 2021 in receptions, is tied for second in receiving touchdowns and is third in receiving yards.
- Is the only Penn State receiver to catch at least five passes in 12 consecutive games.
- Caught at least one pass in 41 consecutive games.
- Had at least one 20-yard reception in 28 games.
- Leads all FBS receivers in touchdowns of 20+ yards since 2020 with 12, according to Pro Football Focus.
- Is the only Penn State receiver with at least six touchdown receptions in the first five games of the season. Did it in 2020 and 2021.
- Caught a touchdown pass in six straight games dating to 2020, the longest streak in program history.
- Caught six touchdown passes of 60 yards or longer.