Welcome to Black Shoe Diaries' coverage of National Signing Day 2016. Our goal is to make sure that you know everything you need to know about every member of Penn State's 2016 recruiting class, including what fans should expect from them, some highlight tape and more. We truly appreciate you taking the time to follow along with our coverage of all things Penn State recruiting-related over the past year, and we can't wait to continue to ramp up our coverage for 2017. So whether you've been reading the site for years, or a first-time reader who just stumbled upon Black Shoe Diaries, we hope you stick around.
To read up on all of the other members of the 2016 recruiting class, simply head back to the main draft board, where recruits will be added as their official letters of intent roll in.
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After losing Lavert Hill and missing out on Damar Hamlin, Penn State needed a second corner to supplement Zech McPhearson. They got that in Anthony Johnson, the big corner from Ohio. Standing at 6'3", you won't find many bigger than him at the position. Though not beloved by recruiting service, there is an awful lot of upside you can project with him. Plus, he's very confident.
.@CoachTerryPSU and the Lasch War Room give a #B1G welcome to the newest Nittany Lion - TJ Johnson! #WeAre pic.twitter.com/QEePkbl6HJ— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) February 3, 2016
|High School||Euclid (Oh.)|
|Positional Rank||#137 CB, #66 in Ohio|
|Commitment Date||February 2nd, 2016|
Johnson's height and subsequent length mean that, even when he makes mistakes in coverage, he has a little more margin for error. In his own words, his best skill is his man-to-man coverage ability. Though he needs to add muscle to his frame, he's certainly not going to get leaped over. He's a solid tackler who could at the very least be a special teams piece early on, and displays quality athleticism. He's very fluid on the field, which will help him as he learns the little nuances of the college game. With his whole package, you can certainly project a pretty high ceiling on him, though there'll be space to learn.
He's pretty much a lock to redshirt, but I think he gets an outside chance to play a bit if he shows something and the rest of the secondary doesn't improve. Penn State needs cornerback and special teams depth, and Grant Haley probably projects best as a slot corner. Letting Johnson have a shot and seeing if he can become a starter his sophomore year could help the defense a lot down the road. Odds are, though, his first chance will be in 2017.