Signed: Donovan Johnson Has the Speed and Technique to Shut Down the Big Ten's Best

By Craig Fritz on February 1, 2017 at 8:40 am
Donovan Johnson
Rivals.com
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Welcome to National Signing Day 2017 here at Roar Lions Roar. Make sure to check out all of our other Signing Day coverage today and in the coming days, and make sure to check out each profile of the newest Nittany Lions as they come in. (All photos you see below are courtesy of 247Sports)


Donovan Johnson (along with K.J. Hamler) is Penn State's first signee from Michigan since a flurry of players left the mitten in 2010 and 2011 (C.J. Olaniyan, Rob Bolden, Anthony Zettel, Allen Robinson). The four-star cornerback received his scholarship offer in March of 2016 and committed after his official visit in December. Virginia Tech was his runner up with Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin in the mix. Safety coach Tim Banks was Johnson's lead recruiter.

Donovan Johnson
Position: Cornerback
Height/Weight: 5'10/176
High School: Cass Technical (Mi.)
247Composite Rank: ★★★★(0.8907)
Positional Rank: No. 327 Overall, No. 37 Cornerback, No. 10 in Michigan
Commitment Date: December 13, 2016

Scouting Report

Based on his height and weight, Johnson checks in as a pure corner for the Lions. As we noted when he committed, Johnson is an explosive athlete with top-end speed and excellent cover skills. He'll need to add some strength to be effective in run support, but he isn't afraid to mix it up as is. He was Penn State's only representative in the 2017 Army All-American bowl. 

Moving Forward

Penn State's top three cornerbacks are solidified for 2017, but there is plenty of room to make an impact a bit further down the depth chart or on special teams. Playing time for Johnson next year will depend on injuries to upperclassmen, and his ability to acclimate to the physicality of the college game. He could definitely benefit from a redshirt year to get stronger, but his elite speed may be tough to keep off the field. For now, we'll list him as a yellow light for 2017.

Highlights

2017 Cornerback Scholarship Chart
Seniors
Juniors
Sophomore
Freshmen
2018 Commits
Christian Campbell
Amani Oruwariye*
Garrett Taylor*
Zech McPhearson*
-
Grant Haley
John Reid
-
D.J. Brown
-
-
-
-
Donovan Johnson
-
-
-
-
Lamont Wade
-

* denotes redshirt season taken

Welcome to Penn State, Donovan.
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