The early signing period for football prospects in the Class of 2020 is upon us, and Penn State is expected to bring in a larger-than-usual class throughout the day. On the Penn State blog today, I’ll be breaking down each of the signees. Here is my scouting report on tall, lanky cornerback prospect Joseph Johnson III.
School: Life Christian Academy (Va.)
Projected position: Cornerback
Rating: Four stars by ESPN; Three stars by Rivals.com and 247sports
Other offers: Duke, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, N.C. State, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia.
Projection: Johnson is a taller, long-armed cornerback prospect who gives Penn State a bit of a different look than it’s used to at the position. There will always be questions about quickness and change of direction ability in a guy pushing 6-foot-3 at that position, but Johnson tests well in those areas and does appear to have the ability to find the spot he needs to get to and get to it on the deeper throws. He does a good job knocking receivers off their routes, and he’s a matchup problem for smaller receivers in the run game because of his ability to keep them at bay with superior arm length. Johnson probably needs a true redshirt season in 2020, but he’s going to be an intriguing option when looking for a guy who can follow the bigger receivers in the Big Ten around.
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