Joe Lorig, Penn State’s special teams coordinator, has coached football for 25 years and has never seen what Jordan Stout is doing.
Stout, a senior, is the first Nittany Lion to handle punts, placekicks and kickoffs since Chris Bahr, who played from 1973-75.
“I’ve seen some pretty elite guys,” Lorig said. “I’ve coached a bunch of guys who have played in the NFL. But I haven’t seen a guy who necessarily does all of them as well as him. I’m really proud of the season that he’s having so far.”
Stout has kicked off 35 times with 33 touchbacks, one fair catch and one he hit out of bounds. Penn State is the only FBS team in the country that has allowed no kickoff return yards.
“We don’t really give people the opportunity to return kicks,” Lorig said. “A lot of people don’t understand, don’t realize it or think about it. That eliminates risk.
“Since I’ve been here (since 2019), we’ve played numerous All-American returners and guys who could return kicks for touchdowns and they just don’t get a chance against us.”
After struggling last year as a punter, Stout is averaging 48.8 yards and ranks fifth in the FBS. Of his 29 punts, 14 have been at least 50 yards and 12 have landed inside the 20-yard line.
Penn State ranks third in net punting (45.97) because opponents have just 22 yards on six returns.
Stout averaged just 41.5 yards a punt last season.
“Mainly it was his mindset, knowing he had to improve,” Lorig said, “and then having the experience to do it. We knew he was good. He always did that in practice. It just needed to translate to the game.”
Stout also has made 8-of-11 field goals and has made 19 straight PATs after missing one at Wisconsin in the opener.
Shout-out to linebackers: Because Penn State’s linebackers have played much better than they did last season, two of them received praise in response to questions this week.
Sophomore outside linebacker Curtis Jaocbs made four tackles two weeks ago at Iowa, including one sack and one other tackle for loss. He also had a quarterback hurry.
Jacobs is second on the team with three sacks.
“He’s always had the athleticism and the skills,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “But to transition to a full-time linebacker at this level was an adjustment.
“He’s gaining more and more confidence. He’s getting more and more comfortable with how he fits into the defense and what plays that he needs to make and should make.”
Senior middle linebacker Ellis Brooks leads Penn State with 44 tackles.
“I think Ellis is playing as good as any linebacker in the country,” Franklin said. “He’s been extremely productive.”
Luketa, Parsons reunited: Penn State defensive end Jesse Luketa and one of his best friends reunited this week.
Former Nittany Lions All-American Micah Parsons returned to State College and visited his former coaches and teammates during the bye week for the Dallas Cowboys.
Parsons, a rookie, has helped the Cowboys get off to a 5-1 start playing linebacker and defensive end.
“Whenever I’m able to see my brother and we reconnect, it’s always good,” Luketa said. “While he’s up here, we’ll probably just chill, relax and watch ball. We’re probably not going to do too much. We’ll have good vibes. We’ll just be us.”
Source: Berkshire mont