STATE COLLEGE – Virginia Tech’s loss turned into Penn State’s special team’s gain last season when kicker Jordan Stout announced his transfer to Happy Valley last June.
As a walk-on for the Hokies, Stout received immediate eligibility for the 2019 season. It wasn’t long before the Nittany Lions knew just what they had in the right-footed specialist.
Stout during Week 3 kicked a program-best 57-yard goal field goal against Pittsburgh, and in Week 1, he nailed 12 touchbacks against visiting Idaho.
Granted the 2020 season proceeds as scheduled, Stout will return to Blacksburg, Virginia, as Penn State plays the kicker’s former team during the second week of the season.
“Virginia Tech does have a really good atmosphere,” Stout said. “I’m really, really excited to play Virginia Tech. I’m really excited to go to their house – my old place – and play with my new team. I’m just really excited about the opportunity to actually get to play Virginia Tech.”
Penn State in April released its depth chart and Stout is listed as the program’s first-team punter and holder.
The Nittany Lions will look to the redshirt junior to fill the role of Blake Gillikin, who was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New Orleans Saints in May.
Gillikin departed Penn State ranked No. 2 all-time in punting yards average (43.03 yards per punt) and 53 of his punts during his four-year career were downed inside teams’ 10-yard line.
Furthermore, Gillikin infused Penn State’s locker room with a respected voice. The specialist graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average and twice landed as a first-team academic All-American.
“Blake was a really good mentor,” Stout said. “If there was anything that I ever needed help with… Just to have Blake beside me… It helped a lot. Just to see him develop and do super well in games has given me confidence.”
Stout’s first year in State College coincided with Joe Lorig’s inaugural season as Penn State’s special teams coordinator.
“I’ve been around a lot of coaches, and thus far, Coach Lorig has been the best coach that I’ve been around when it comes to special teams,” Stout said. “He pushes us. He’s hard on us at times, but he’s hard on us at the right times. Let’s say I miss a kick in practice, he doesn’t yell at me. He just comes up to me like, ‘Hey. What did you do wrong? What can you do better?’”
Lorig, who arrived at Penn State from Memphis, earlier this spring expressed full confidence is Stout abilities as a replacement for Gillikin and as an accurate, strong-legged punter.
“I don’t think that there will be any question whether Jordan is good enough to fill in for Blake, and obviously, Blake was fantastic, that’s nothing to minimize his value,” Lorig said. “I just think Jordan’s that good, also. It’s just going to be making sure that we manage him being able to do the kickoffs, the long field goals and the punts… A lot of people don’t do that.”
Stout ended his first year at Penn State with 66 touchbacks in 13 games. With Jake Pinegar handling the majority of field goal attempts, Stout was 2 of 3 when given the opportunity.
The 2020 season will see an increase in his playing time as the Nittany Lions’ new punter. Whether it’s kicking or punting, the Cedar Bluff, Virginia, native is making the most of his second opportunity.
“My goal is to make it to the NFL, so I think the best way for me to make it to the NFL is exactly what I’m doing now – punting, kicking off and kicking long field goals, just to show NFL teams that I can do all three,” Stout said.