Height/Weight: 6-foot-2.5, 192 pounds
Hometown/High School: Eugene, OR (Sheldon H.S.)
Ranking: ★★★★ (0.9074 247Sports Composite — No. 259 overall)
Notable Offers: Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Michigan, and NC State
Penn State’s coaching staff has wanted two quarterbacks in their 2019 recruiting class from the get-go. They now have a quarterback to pair with TaQuan Roberson in the form of Michael Johnson Jr.
Johnson Jr. took an official visit to Penn State the weekend of June 8th, and followed up that up with quick, turnaround official visits to NC State, Miami, and Florida State.
Once it become clear that Johnson Jr. wouldn’t end up in Oregon’s class, Miami was the program expected to make the biggest jump for Johnson Jr. This began to change though when he took his official visit to Happy Valley. James Franklin and Co. laid out the red carpet for Johnson Jr. and began to capture the momentum in his recruitment, eventually landing a commitment from the Oregon four-star on August 1.
Johnson Jr. is a great athlete. Honestly, he is currently more of an athlete than he is a quarterback. This is not to say he is a poor thrower as he did miss making the Elite 11 by one spot earlier this spring, but he is undoubtedly a project at quarterback at the moment.
That said, his athletic ability and size will allow him to be used in more ways than just as a quarterback ala current Nittany Lions signal caller Tommy Stevens. He is also a coach’s son - his father Michael Sr. is wide receivers coach at Oregon - which typically leads to a high football IQ and being coachable, two traits you always want in a quarterback.
If Johnson Jr. can improve his throwing, look for him to vie for the starting job at quarterback in 2020 when the Nittany Lions begin life after Stevens and Trace McSorley.