Over the last decade, Penn State football has consistently had one of the better TE rooms in the sport. The Nittany Lions’ last three showcase TEs, Mike Gesicki, Pat Freiermuth, and Brenton Strange, are all currently on NFL rosters. Now, the next man up for the Blue and White is Theo Johnson. While Penn State insiders are high on what he can achieve this season, Johnson hasn’t received much discussion on the national landscape. But with the help of a Nittany Lion letterman, that soon may change. On Monday, former Penn State TE Adam Breneman called Johnson a “sleeper” player for the 2023 season.
Johnson could be Penn State’s top target in 2023
There’s been much attention as to who will be catching the ball from former five-star QB Drew Allar this season. However, most of the focus has been on Penn State’s uncertainty at the WR position. But former Penn State TE turned podcast host Adam Breneman thinks that Theo Johnson could be Allar’s top target in 2023.
Breneman pointed to Johnson’s reliable production over his career at Penn State. Over three seasons as a secondary TE, Johnson has hauled in 43 receptions for nearly 600 yards and 5 touchdowns. Now as the top dog in the Penn State TE room, Breneman thinks that Theo Johnson can be a safety blanket for Allar.
Adam Breneman calls Penn State TE “sleeper” in the Big Ten
But Breneman took it one step further than calling Johnson a top pass catcher for the Nittany Lions this season. A former standout at the position in his own right, Breneman said that he believes Theo Johnson can be “the best TE in the Big Ten in 2023.” Beyond his proven production as a backup TE, Breneman also pointed to Johnson’s size (6’6, 250 pounds) and his willingness to play tough along the line of scrimmage.
However, Adam Breneman feels that Johnson’s most valuable skill is body control. “He’s athletic. He can run. He’s big. But most importantly, he controls his body so well with movement,” Breneman said in the video posted on his Twitter Monday night. “He has great balance. He stays off the ground. And he’s extremely fluid with his motions.”
You can check out Breneman’s full evaluation of Theo Johnson below.
Theo Johnson was second on Penn State’s tight-end depth chart last year.
But this year he will be one of the best tight ends in the Big Ten.
Here’s why 👀
Welcome to Sleepers with AB presented by @Lofta_Sleep — the premier provider of home sleep apnea testing.
1. Size — he’s… pic.twitter.com/XkitsMePI7
— Adam Breneman (@AdamBreneman81) June 27, 2023
Overall, Breneman is correct. Penn State football will need a dynamic offense to have any shot of reaching its expectations in 2023. With the pieces still coming together at WR, TE could be an asset for Drew Allar as he gets his feet wet as a starter. Theo Johnson has the physicality to move the chains, but can also stretch the field with his speed. The fourth-year TE has a chance to be an emerging star for the Nittany Lions this season.
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