Welcome to Black Shoe Diaries' coverage of National Signing Day 2015. We're here to make sure that you know exactly who the newest Nittany Lions are, where they come from, and what we can expect of them. Each of these reports will include their vital information, their high school statistics, highlight tape analysis, outlook for their freshmen seasons and more. We sincerely hope you enjoy getting to know the stars of tomorrow. If you've been reading along with our recruiting coverage all year, we appreciate the support and are glad you hung around with us for the ride that was the 2015 recruiting class. If you are a new reader, welcome! We're glad you're here, and we hope you stick around for 2016!
To navigate your way to other members of the 2015 recruiting class, simply head back to our draft board and click on the player of your choice.
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Johnny Petrishen was one of several Penn State targets that remained a victim of the limited scholarship numbers, not picking up an offer until November. He was on campus for the Michigan State game, and immediately moved the Lions into his top group, which also included Pitt and Virginia. After a great official visit in late January, Johnny narrowed his choices to the hometown Panthers and PSU, before selecting PSU just last week.
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
High School: Central Catholic
247Composite Rank: ★★★ (0.8464)
Positional Rank: #69 Safety, #20 Player in Pennsylvania
Commitment Date: January 31, 2015
247 Crystal Ball:
Full disclosure here, I've been a huge fan of Petrishen's since he picked up his PSU offer in November. He stands out to me as one of those players that emerges late in his high school career, and the recruiting services don't react quickly enough. Johnny has everything I like in a safety- good speed, good ball skills, and good size. Like his classmates at his position, Ayron Monroe and Jarvis Miller, Johnny will fit right in with what Bob Shoop wants from his safeties.
Thanks to his time playing receiver, Petrishen does a nice job of high-pointing the ball. Such skills will serve him very well, when going up against some of the bigger bodies at receiver that the Big Ten has to offer. Johnny shows a good feel for how to elude blockers and find direct paths to the ball carrier, which is something we saw serve freshman cornerback Marcus Allen so well this past season.
PSU is short on depth and experience at safety, evidenced by Jordan Lucas moving from cornerback this off season. That means plenty of opportunities for Petrishen and the others to get a shot to play as freshman. It seems unlikely that all three incoming freshman safeties play, but I just have a hunch Petrishen is going to find his way onto the field in some capacity. He's just too solid to sit on a team that needs players like him.
Even if he isn't able to earn any playing time at the safety spot, Petrishen should be a player that fits right in on special teams. Part of the reason that Penn State has been so miserable in the kick return in recent years, as been a lack of depth on the roster. When a team only goes 1-2 guys deep at each position, they can't risk playing those guys on kickoff teams, where high speed collisions can often lead to injuries. Now, Franklin and his staff are finally in a position to rebuild those coverage units and return teams, and getting young guys early experience is the first step to doing that. Petrishen should be able to develop into a leader no matter where he ends up, but don't be surprised to see him be the kind of guy who sticks around on the kick coverage unit, despite wherever else he plays on the field.
- Johnny Petrishen Commits to Penn State
- Johnny Petrishen's Hudl Page
- Johnny Petrishen's MaxPreps Page
- Johnny Petrishen's 247 Profile