Sleeper to Camp at Penn State

After an outstanding MSL Combine at Hofstra University, Kevin Johnson will camp at Penn State this weekend. Who has offered? What position does he like the best? Do the Nittany Lions fit into his favorites?

Name: Kevin Johnson
Position: OT/DT
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 295 pounds
40 Speed: 4.9 seconds
Hometown/School: Newton, Nj. (Newton HS)

Although Kevin Johnson, a dual lineman from Newton, Nj., only has two offers in hand right now, his impressive showing at the Hofstra MSL Combine has him poised to explode onto the scene.

According to Kevin, he currently stands 6'4'', 295 lbs.  While his height and weight are important, many scouts and coaches will point to his feet as his best attribute.  At MSL, he ran a 5.1 forty (4.9 is his personal best), a 4.48 shuttle, and a 7.63 figure eight time.  Last season for Newton HS, he compiled 45 tackles and 2 sacks.  However, all of those on the field times cannot compare with his work in the classroom--a 3.0 GPA and a 1220 SAT score.

Currently Towson State and Connecticut have offered the offensive and defensive tackle written scholarship offers.  

"I'm hoping Michigan State, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Miami [offer].  They've been sending me mail correspondence," Kevin stated, naming schools from the top of his head.

What position are schools looking at him to play?

"Currently I'm being recruited to play offensive tackle, but I hope to change minds when I get to college.  Defense is much more fun.  But, I'm going to play wherever I fit in."

What makes defense so much more enjoyable than offense?

"I guess the unpredictability about it.  That kind of excites me.  The fact that I can judge where the ball is going and get to it before they have a chance to stop me or do any counter defense, tricks, or plays is kind of what lights my fire," explained an enthusiastic Kevin.

Although the big man has not yet visited any schools unofficially, he will travel to Penn State on Saturday to take part in their summer camp session until Monday.

Why did he choose the Penn State camp over various other schools?

"It's just something that I decided to attend after the Rutgers one last year.  I liked how that one worked, so Penn State is just the next state over.  I thought it might be fun," said Kevin, who has never been to Happy Valley.  "This will be my first time.  I'm kind of excited about it."

"I wanted something different, to see what kind of different programs they might run and experience what it might be like to play on that level."

Penn State has not been in contact with Kevin directly, only through the mail, but he hopes that a good performance will spark interest from the Nittany Lions.  Is he familiar with what the Nittany Lions have to offer him athletically and academically?

"I heard they had a good program and it's relatively close to home.  I like that aspect about it.  They have a veteran coach, a guy who really knows his stuff, and it sounds like he'll work you to the bone but he'll teach you at the same time.  I enjoy that aspect of it too."

In addition to the Penn State camp, Kevin will also attend the Art Monk Camp, a full pads workout which takes place in Maryland.

Does Kevin have a favorite school, who if they extend an offer, he will accept immediately?

"No.  I didn't really grow up having any particular favorites.  I was always rooting for whoever during the various championship games that they had," Kevin explained.

With the process, realistically, just starting for Kevin after his impressive combine and with him being wide open at the moment, do any schools stand out that he would like to visit?

"I'm unsure as of right now," stated Kevin, who also does not have a preference about location.  "I'm open to pretty much any idea right now."

(Interview by Steve Curry)

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