The Playmaker: Juwan Johnson
On the fourth and final play of the game, quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) threaded a seemingly impossible seven yard pass into the end zone, straight into the hands of Juwan Johnson (Glassboro, N.J.).
This stellar final play, which gave Penn State the 21-19 nail biter of a victory, had fans celebrating near and far. Penn State remains 4-0 and set a precedent for the rest of the Big Ten season.
However, the win had many people asking: Who is Juwan Johnson? Let’s take a look at some of the quiet and stealthy statistics that have made him into the playmaker he is today.
Johnson, a junior wide receiver from Glassboro, New Jersey, is beginning to step into his role as an anchor of a wide receiver during the 2017 season.
The 6’4, 226 student-athlete was named to the Academic All-Big Ten in 2016 during his redshirt freshman season. Johnson is currently studying telecommunications.
In 2016, Johnson appeared in every game, gaining the valuable experience that would propel him to be a force in the 2017 season.
During the 2016 Pitt game, Johnson received his first career reception, a 27-yard catch from McSorley during the Lions’ final drive of the game.
In November 2016, Johnson blocked a punt by Rutgers that would later lead to Penn State’s first touchdown of the game. Later that same month, Johnson received a pass from McSorley and went for 43 yards.
Prior to becoming a Nittany Lion, Johnson was a standout wide receiver for Glassboro High School. During his tenure at Glassboro, Johnson recorded 42 catches for 804 yards and registered nine touchdowns.
As most Division I recruits do, Johnson participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2014 and 2015 and was afterward ranked a top five New Jersey prospect by all major recruiting outlets.
Johnson is not the only football talent in his family. His brother played defensive end at Rutgers and was then in the NFL for seven years.
Johnson has already amassed 197 total yards in 2017 and 14.1/ yards per reception. His lone touchdown of the season so far is the golden one from the Iowa game.
Fans can expect to see more of Johnson and his agile playmaking skills next weekend as Penn State welcomes Indiana to Happy Valley for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff at Beaver Stadium.