April 20, 2006

Johnson finds a home at safety

You don't have to flip many pages in the Penn State football history book to find a player who has been shifted to as many positions as senior safety Donnie Johnson.

Rewind to 2005, when Michael Robinson could finally focus on playing solely at quarterback, and you'll recall Robinson's days as a wide receiver/running back/kick returner.

In 2006, that dubious distinction falls to Johnson.

Finally settled at safety, Johnson, by his own accounting, has played "running back to wideout, back to running back to cornerback to safety."

Coming out of Cincinnati's North College Hill High School in 2002, most thought Johnson had a chance to be Penn State's next great running back.

During his senior season, Johnson rushed for 2,961 yards and averaged 12.7 yards per carry. He had set school career records for rushing yards (6,353), all-purpose yards (7,430), touchdowns (73) and points (438).

Perhaps foreshadowing his eventual destination at Penn State, Johnson was also an accomplished safety in high school.

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