Penn State went to the West Coast to land its second quarterback of this recruiting class.
A few days earlier, James Franklin and staff received a verbal commitment from a North Carolina receiver.
With few prime targets in Pennsylvania and Maryland during this cycle, the Nittany Lions have fared well reaching to other parts of their traditional recruiting area and beyond.
With 14 verbal pledges so far, only two have in-state ties — defensive backs Keaton Ellis (State College) and Jaquan Brisker (Lackawanna Community College).
The most recent pickup was Oregon’s Michael Johnson, Jr.
Johnson (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) chose the Lions Wednesday over Florida State, Miami, North Carolina State and Oregon State. He’s more of a playmaking runner but a less-polished passer than Penn State’s other quarterback commit, Ta’Quan Roberson, according to Sean Fitz of Lions247.
Johnson is a four-star recruit and the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in the nation by Rivals and 247Sports. He’s been regarded as one of the top QBs in his class since he was a freshman at The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, Calif. He moved to Eugene, Oregon last year when his father was hired as the Ducks’ wide receivers coach.
“He has everything you’d (want) for Penn State’s offense,” said Ryan Snyder of Blue-White Illustrated. “He can throw on the run, make plays with his feet. He’s a coach’s son.”