Penn State Football Recruit Spotlight: TE Theo Johnson

Theo Johnson enters the fold at tight end for the Nittany Lions after earning consensus 4-star ratings from the national recruiting services.

Hailing from Holy Names High School in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, tight end Theo Johnson may not be a household name for even the closest followers of the Penn State Football team. He may not even be a name most followers of high school recruiting know either.

However, if his recruiting profile, current stature on the football field and highlight tapes point to anything, when it’s all said and done for his time in Happy Valley, he surely will be a household name in Penn State folklore.

Johnson enters the fold at tight end checking in at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds and one of the highest-ranked players at the position. According to Rivals, Johnson is the 106th-best player overall and the fourth-best tight end in this year’s recruiting cycle. According to 247Sports, Johnson is this year’s 71st-ranked player overall and third-best tight end.

He held offers from a slew of schools across all Power-5 conferences including Georgia, Alabama and LSU in the SEC, Florida State, Miami and Syracuse in the ACC as well as Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State from the Big Ten. With All-American Pat Freiermuth to lead the way in his first season in Blue and White, Johnson committed on December 9, 2019 and enrolled early on January 14, 2020 meaning he’ll be a participant in the annual Blue-White spring game.

His stature and size on the football field are one thing but his play style certainly is reminiscent of his now-teammate in Freiermuth. Johnson is a big target for his quarterback but still possesses some sharp routes as well as a contested-catch ability that rivals even some of the more experienced tight ends at the FBS level.


Johnson impressed everyone at The Opening last summer and it’s only a matter of days before he’ll likely leave Penn State fans in awe during the Blue-White game. He’s already left his mark everywhere he’s been and even left 247Sports National Writer Charles Power with only remarkably strong words to say:

Projects as a multi-year starter at the Power 5 level with the upside of developing into an early round NFL Draft pick.

He’ll likely need to improve his blocking skills to become a well-rounded tight end as he primarily played wide receiver for Holy Names in Windsor but with an entire winter, spring and summer to go before this fall hits and him already on campus, there’s more than enough time for him to push for some serious time in his true freshman season.

Johnson gets not only the experience of eight full months on campus and in the weight room before the first game this season but he also gets to learn from one of the nation’s best at the position in Freiermuth. Odds are, we’ll be saying the same thing about a highly-touted tight end who gets to learn from Johnson in a few years.

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