PSU gets big-time receiver

Wide receiver Juwan Johnson has incredible upside.

The same could be said for the 2015 Penn State football recruiting class, even more so now because Johnson is a part of it.

Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound pass-catcher from Glassboro, N.J., became the latest prospect to verbally commit to new coach James Franklin’s staff on Sunday. The eighth member of the Lions’ 2015 recruiting class, Johnson was in University Park this weekend on an unofficial visit.

At least five of those players are consensus four-star prospects, putting Penn State’s early class at No. 5 in the country according to 247Sports ranking index.

Johnson is the highest-rated player yet to join up with the Lions, checking in as 247Sport’s 55th-best prospect in the country. Johnson picked Penn State over Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Boston College, but he received an offer a week ago from Alabama.

Not only is Johnson a big receiver, he is fast. He’s been timed at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash and has clocked at 10.6 in the 100 meters. He’s already been picked for next January’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

“Offensively, his size and his speed are his biggest strengths. He’s 6-5 and can run like a deer,” Glassboro coach Mark Maccarone told recently. “Defensively, he is a great lock-down corner for us. The truth is, he’s an even better defensive player than he is an offensive player.”

Johnson was third-team all-Group 1 New Jersey despite being an ankle injury that limited him to 26 receptions for 421 yards and four touchdowns as a junior. His brother, George Johnson, played defensive end at Rutgers.

Penn State probably will look to add one or two more receivers in this class. Tennessee’s Van Jefferson is near the top of the list, and the Lions also have been involved with Missouri’s Alex Ofodile and New Jersey’s Irvin Charles – Jefferson and Ofodile are consensus four-star prospects, while Charles has a four-star rating from 247Sports.

– Philip Cmor