Jonathan Warner, WR, Camas High School (WA)
Suhey. Wisniewski. Mauti. Collins. Pittman. Shuler. Zordich. Joe Paterno's football program was literally a family; a team stocked with legacy players year-in and year-out. In his first year at the helm, Bill O'Brien showed that he intends to keep the tradition alive.
You might remember his dad...
Jonathan Warner is a classic late bloomer. With several seniors ahead of him on the depth chart and a little more growing to do, scholarship offers weren't flying into his mailbox. So Warner did exactly what any player who wanted to play football at a major university would do - he got to work.
He knew he had to step things up in the off season so he dedicated himself to training and building his once bony frame into a explosive and muscular machine. That job was turned over to Ryan Paul of New Athlete in Vancouver.
* * *
When he walked into New Athlete he was about 6′ tall and 183. When walked out to hit the field this season he was at 6'1/2″ and 200 pounds. The size came all as muscle and was noticeable. The promising Junior who had to wait his turn in 2010 was making people look twice in 2011.
The results speak for themselves. Warner's team, the Camas Papermakers, made the Class 3A State Semi-final this year. Jonathan was a primary contributor. He caught 48 passes for 715 yards and 10 touchdowns and carried 5 times for 118 yards and 2 scores.
Still, even after his breakout year, Warner was flying under the radar. That's when his father decided to send his highlight tape to Coach Larry Johnson, Sr. Johnson saw the video, saw potential, called the Warners and offered Jonathan a scholarship. It was his only offer from an FBS school.
On January 22, 2012, the day his father's coach passed away, Jonathan committed to the new era of Penn State football.
"It's a new era we have to start," said Warner, a senior wide receiver from Camas. "This class is the first to sign without JoePa coaching. We're the new legacy."
But even though it's a new era, Jonathan knows that the values of the old regime are timeless.
Although he won't have the chance to play for Paterno, Jonathan Warner will serve as a link from the past to the Bill O'Brien Era at Penn State.
"One of the reason I picked Penn State was the academics. Penn State is known for having its student-athletes graduate. Plus, my father told me all about the tradition,'' Jonathan Warner said. "It wasn't really a hard decision.''
Black Shoe Diaries welcomes the Warner family back to Penn State!