When Trace McSorley moves on, the Penn State quarterback room will have plenty of competition.
Four-star stud Michael Johnson Jr. verbally committed to the Nittany Lions on Tuesday, becoming their second top-tier dual-threat quarterback of the 2019 cycle. Johnson Jr. joins Ta’Quan Roberson and 12 other prospects in Penn State’s heralded class.
Johnson Jr. is the top player from Oregon and No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in the country, per 247 Sports. Coming in at No. 259 overall, the 6-foot-3, 192-pounder is Penn State’s 10th top-300 prospect of the class.
Johnson Jr., who accounted for 1,963 yards and 33 touchdowns as a junior, held offers from 28 schools. From there, he narrowed it down to five finalists: Penn State, Florida State, Miami, N.C. State and Oregon State.
Instead of choosing a Florida school, Johnson Jr. went with someone with Sunshine State ties. The quarterback was primarily recruited by former Florida coach and current Penn State assistant Ja’Juan Seider, along with offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne.
Assuming Johnson Jr. and Roberson’s verbal commitments become official in December, Rahne will have plenty of depth to work with. Tommy Stevens is the expected starter when McSorley moves on, but Sean Clifford, Will Levis, Roberson and now Johnson Jr. will be in the mix for the 2020 job.
“I like coach (James) Franklin a lot,” Johnson Jr. told OregonLive prior to his commitment. “His outlook on everything is really big. I like it a lot.”