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Juwan Johnson’s Status Up In The Air For Penn State-Rutgers

Glassboro, New Jersey native Juwan Johnson may not get a chance to play in his home state this weekend when No. 14 Penn State football travels to Piscataway to take on Rutgers.

The receiver hasn’t played in either of Penn State’s last three games due to an undisclosed injury, and head coach James Franklin was mum on his status during his weekly press conference Tuesday.

“Juwan, obviously, is fighting through some things. Juwan’s been through things like this throughout his career, and our team has been awesome with him,” Franklin said. “We’ve just got to get him 100 percent healthy so he can go out and be the type of player we know he can be. When will that be
again? I’m not going to speculate.”

Johnson ranks second for the Nittany Lions with 293 receiving yards this season, but he’s only hauled in one touchdown pass. He was the team’s de facto top receiver entering the campaign, but has received plenty of criticism because of dropped passes.

Through all of the criticism, Franklin has never backed down from his confidence in the redshirt junior. He clearly thinks the world of Johnson, who made one of the best catches of the season against Ohio State.

“Like I’ve talked about all year long, we’ve got a tremendous faith in Juwan,” Franklin said. “Very talented guy. He’s flashed some brilliance at times, but we’ve got to get him healthy. Once he’s healthy, he’ll be able to go out there and contribute at a very high level, and we need him.”

Elsewhere, the head coach provided some clarity on freshman running back Ricky Slade’s injury problems. Franklin explained that Slade was “nicked up” earlier this season, which is why he did not take the field against Indiana, Iowa, or Michigan.

The true freshman and former five-star prospect was back in the lineup against Wisconsin, but only registered one yard on two carries as Miles Sanders carried the load in the running game.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

Mikey is a junior majoring in journalism and Onward State's Sports Editor. He grew up in Bedminster, NJ and is way too obnoxious about all the best things his home state has to offer. He likes to play golf, but he isn't very good at it because golf is hard. If you're dying to see more hockey/golf content on your timeline, you can follow Mikey on Twitter @mikey_mandarino. Send all hate mail/death threats to [email protected]

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