Penn State’s top receiver entering the 2018 season will explore other opportunities for 2019.
Wide receiver Juwan Johnson, who battled drops and injuries on the way to a disappointing junior season, entered his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal Friday and later confirmed on Instagram that he has decided “to not play my final season at Penn State University.” He thanked Penn State’s “ridiculous fan base for all the support” and head coach James Franklin “for helping me grow as a man.”
Johnson did not say which school he will be joining.
After a breakthrough 2017 campaign in which he earned all-Big Ten honors after catching 54 passes for 701 yards and a game-winning touchdown grab as time expired against Iowa, Johnson slumped last season. He caught 25 passes for 352 yards and one score, but he suffered a leg injury in October and missed four games.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder graduated in December and will be eligible to play in the fall wherever he chooses to transfer. At Penn State, he would have been in a battle for playing time with a slew of talented youngsters in the fold, including sophomores-to-be K.J. Hamler and Jahan Dotson, along with freshmen Justin Shorter and Daniel George, among other prospects.
Going back to Cali
Two Penn State players accepted invitations to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, an all-star game played at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 19.
Safety Nick Scott and linebacker Koa Farmer will play for the National Team, coached by former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice, in the six-year-old bowl game, which gives prospective professional players an opportunity to showcase their abilities in front of NFL coaches and scouts. Nearly 200 scouts, player personnel staff, general managers and head coaches are expected to be in attendance to watch practices, conduct player interviews and review tape, the bowl said.
A slew of seniors already have announced intentions to participate in postseason all-star games. Quarterback Trace McSorley has been selected to play in the prestigious Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 26. On Sunday, long snapper and Wallenpaupack grad Kyle Vasey participated in the SPIRAL Tropical Bowl in Daytona Beach, Fla.