Things are getting somewhat back to normal on the recruiting front for Penn State, at least when it comes to being able to host camps and targets on campus. Last weekend was one of the first big ones in a while for the Nittany Lions, and it turns out, their 2022 recruiting class added a solid prospect because of it.
Penn State got a verbal commitment from Virginia receiver Tyler Johnson on Monday, making him the third true receiver who is slated to join the program come signing day in December.
As far as Johnson as a prospect, he’s extremely interesting. Rivals.com recently rated him as a three-star prospect; 247sports didn’t have him rated at all. He only had a few Power 5 offers outside of the one he had from the Nittany Lions, with Virginia Tech. Wake Forest, Maryland and Syracuse probably his biggest and best. And frankly, looking at the video of his junior season — which you can do here — you can see some reasons why.
He doesn’t burn past defenders on fly patterns. He has good size, but not elite size. He doesn’t show off the entire route tree. Things like that.
But man, is he productive.
He played four games during his junior season at Magna Vista High School, which was played in the spring. He caught 13 touchdown passes in those four games and almost reached 1,000 receiving yards. Which is astonishing, considering he plays in a pretty good high school league.
He lists himself at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, and he lists his 40-yard dash after his weekend at Penn State at 4.47 seconds and his shuttle at 4.1 seconds. Johnson is quick and strong, and you can see him developing well in the Penn State system, given what they’d done for plenty of prospects in the weight room.
In the end, Johnson is moldable clay, and probably a bit of a late bloomer. But what does that matter, really? Look at his film, see what he does especially when he’s working out of the slot, and it’s clear to see his future is pretty bright.
Donnie Collins has been a member of The Times-Tribune sports staff for nearly 20 years and has been the Penn State football beat writer for Times-Shamrock Newspapers since 2004. The Penn State Football Blog covers Nittany Lions, Big Ten and big-time college football news from Beaver Stadium to the practice field, the bowl game to National Letter of Intent Signing Day. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5368; @DonnieCollinsTT