Penn State University offered an opportunity that was too good to pass up for kicker Jordan Stout.
“All of the coaches were so real and seemed to have my best interest at heart,” Stout said. “The scholarship helped as well.”
The former Honaker High School star announced that he would join the Big Ten Conference football power on Saturday night via his Twitter account, completing his transfer from Virginia Tech.
Stout spent two seasons at Tech, redshirting in 2017 and being the primary kickoff specialist for the Hokies in 2018. He averaged 64.3 yards on kickoffs, was 4-for-4 on extra points and missed his only field goal attempt this past season.
Stout connected on field goals of 36 and 42 yards in Virginia Tech’s spring game in April, but shortly thereafter entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal and set in motion his departure from Blacksburg.
“In a nutshell I just felt like I could be more successful somewhere besides Virginia Tech,” Stout said. “It’s a great school and has amazing football, but I felt like I would have other opportunities that would suit me better.”
Stout will be eligible right away for the Nittany Lions and with a full scholarship in hand could make an immediate impact.
“Stout is coming in to potentially help in all three areas of the kicking game – punting, field goals and kickoffs,” said Patrick Koerbler, assistant editor for blackshoediaries.com, a blog dedicated to the Nittany Lions. “While Penn State is pretty well set at punter in 2019 with senior Blake Gillikin, it’s expected that Stout will challenge true sophomore Jake Pinegar for the placekicking job. But even if he were to lose out to Pinegar this fall, it still seems like a good bet that Stout will take over as Penn State’s kickoff specialist in 2019 and then take over as the starting punter in 2020.”
Sixty of Stout’s 71 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks last season, a percentage of 84.51. Only LSU’s Avery Atkins (89.87), Alabama-Birmingham’s Nick Vogel (88.75) and Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship (85.42) were better among NCAA Division I FBS kickers.
By comparison, Penn State’s Rafael Checa ranked 61st in that category a season ago.
“Penn State struggled mightily on special teams last season and with a new special teams coordinator [Joe Lorig] on staff this fall, there seems to be a recommitment to the unit,” Koerbler said. “I don’t think anything highlights that more than bringing in someone like Stout, who can impact Penn State’s special teams in a number of ways – not only in 2019 but beyond.”
Stout hopes his strong right leg makes a statement in State College, Pennsylvania.
“I am confident going into next season at Penn State and last year helped my confidence for sure,” Stout said. “I can’t wait to see what my future holds as a Nittany Lion.”