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Some assistants, please: WR coach Stubblefield talks Dotson catch, potential of young wideouts

Penn State makes one assistant coach available to the media each Thursday. This week it’s wide receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield, who is in his first season with the Nittany Lions. Stubblefield enjoyed a stellar playing career at Purdue and has been coaching since 2007.

On Jahan Dotson’s incredible one-handed catch for a TD against Ohio State:

“That catch was unbelievable. And even the one before that was a was a pretty gosh dang good catch. To be honest, my room knows that we have a one-handed rule. We don’t want it. You better come down with it if you go up with one hand. You better come down, because they’re there. Here’s the deal. We got to perfect catching the ball with two hands before we start working catching with one hand. … Credit to him and his talent, talents. He has large hands, really does you see him palm the ball in his hand. … When I saw it, it was a great catch.”

On Dotson’s leadership with the WRs:

“Jahan is a quiet person by nature. He’s not somebody that’s going to be that rah-rah guy, which is fine. We don’t need him to be that rah-rah guy. But he has seen the power of his voice and the power of his actions, what it does to either younger guys or what it does to even his peers. And so I think that he is trying to embrace that daily, and he is getting challenged on that daily, whether it be from myself or Coach Franklin or the rest of staff. And that’s great about this program, honestly, is that our program helps develop leadership, and he is seeing the growth in himself and becoming a leader.”

On competing for playing time:

“I believe we as a program believe in playing the best players, and in our room we talk about the recipe for finding your way out onto the field. And that is one, obviously. staying healthy. Two, knowing what to do. And then three, how well do you do it. Another thing that we talk about is being tough, being consistent and being explosive.”

On having played in Big Ten and at Beaver Stadium:

“This is the best conference. I, I really believe that, top to bottom, this is a extremely tough, tough conference. And playing in Beaver Stadium, obviously, when we have the fans in there, it’s electric. And so, yeah, being able to talk about some of the different stadiums that you’ve played in that you’ve coached in that they’ve played in, it does allow you to bond a little bit with your players, just in regards to, hey, you know, I’ve been able to do some of these things too. And I understand what you guys are going through. And so, if anything, it’s a conversation starter and it’s fun.”

On KeAndre Lamber-Smith and TJ Jones:

“I think (KeAndre’s) ceiling is extremely high. He demonstrates the ability to be very explosive. He has some size to him, and and he catches the ball pretty gosh dang well. The biggest thing that we’ve seen from him is his competitiveness, no matter if he’s going against a freshman or going against a senior. No matter if it’s a tire pull drill or one on one rep. He is extremely, extremely competitive. And so we have talked about being able to channel all of that competitiveness and to make sure that we’re using it the best way that we can. So, I mean, he will work. He will flat out work. So you like that. I mean it’s one of our core core values is a great work ethic, and he definitely embodies embodies that in the way that he approaches the game.

“TJ Jones. He has a big play potential kind of guy. And we’ve talked with him about the consistency and his ability to be consistent, and he’s had a good week of practice. I’m excited about him. He’s another guy that has some speed him, he has some size, catches the ball fairly well. So those are some of the things that I’ve seen from him over the course of whether it be camp or the last last week or so.”

On expectations for the WRs:

“We have a very high standard in our room, and the very first goal we have is to win the football game. Did I see improvement? I did see improvement. … Mentally, we are improving into attack — being more attacking in our play, being more attacking when the ball is in the air. We did better with contested catches last week than what we did the first week and even what we did in fall camp, so that’s exciting. I think the guys are a little bit more confident in that they can make some plays. So, the goal is to get better every single day, each week, and so hopefully we continue to do that. I do know that the guys will be prepared, they’re going to be fired up to play. So I’m excited for this weekend.”

On improvement from week one to week two and this week in practice:

“Just consistency. We’ve had we had more explosives last game, and part of reason why we had more explosive, obviously, there’s some unbelievable catches, but also guys we’re just making the consistent routine play. That’s what you’ll hear me talk about quite quite a bit is great routes equals easy catches … and I really do believe that. When you are consistent, everything that you do, the explosives are going to happen. They just are going to happen. And so from week one week two, I think we’re just a little bit more consistent.”

On why he thinks KeAndre Lamber-Smith and Parker Washington can be very good:

“It kind of just goes back to just consistency, right, like everybody talks about trust and there’s trust that goes on both ways, right, them trusting me and me trusting them. The trust is developed over a certain period of time. And so throughout the unconventional learning that was taking place over the summer. We had to find ways, Coach Carpenter my graduate assistant and myself, and just everybody on staff had to find creative ways to keep the guys engaged while also learning and also testing them. So, you knew that they had potential to play early because they knew what they were doing when we were playing, whether it be some of the Jeopardy games that we were playing or other popup quizzes that we were doing when there was consistent answers to the questions every single day or every single week. So you you felt comfortable that going out there that they were going to, one know how to line up, and two, know what to do.”

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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