After what has seemed like a week of nothing but losses for Penn State football, Nittany Lion fans now have something to be excited about.
Inside Camping World Stadium in Orlando — the same place Penn State fell to Kentucky in Saturday’s Citrus Bowl — five Nittany Lion signees took to the field in the Under Armour All-American Game, looking to showcase their talents against some of the top players in the 2019 recruiting class in front of a national television audience.
The five Penn State signees who took part in the game –– Brandon Smith, Devyn Ford, Noah Cain, John Dunmore and Michael Johnson Jr. –– all found success in a small amount of playing time caused by plenty of rotation at all positions.
Smith, Ford and Johnson were all on the field for Team Ballaholics, the 28-27 winners, while Cain and Dunmore were offensive weapons for Team Flash.
Arguably the best performances of the night came from the Penn State trio on Team Ballaholics. In his first drive of the evening, Johnson marched his squad down the field, capping off the drive with a 26-yard touchdown strike in the back of the end zone to Oklahoma signee Theo Wease.
Penn State signee Michael Johnson Jr. hits Oklahoma signee Theo Wease for a TD! pic.twitter.com/kmx7pPVCHD
— Sports Daily (@SportsDGI) January 4, 2019
Johnson would return to the game to finish things for the Deion Sanders-led Ballaholics as well, finishing the night with five carries for 28 yards and a perfect two-for-two through the air for 43 yards and the score.
While Ford only found his number called three times on the night, the No. 5-ranked running back in the class showed signs of promise, including this eight-yard dash to move the chains on third down.
— Penn State Videos (@PSUvids) January 3, 2019
Smith, the 5-star linebacker from Virginia, impressed on defense for the Ballaholics as well, taking reps at both linebacker and defensive end. While Smith only finished with two tackles, including a sack against Texas commit Roschon Johnson, his versatility was on full display. He even dropped into coverage against wide receivers during the night.
— Penn State Videos (@PSUvids) January 4, 2019
In the Team Flash backfield, Cain had one of the strongest performances of the night. Finishing second among all players in rushes, Cain turned 12 carries into 56 yards, including a three-yard touchdown run.
— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) January 4, 2019
Dunmore, starting for Team Flash, added two catches for 12 yards, as Team Flash struggled to throw the ball throughout the night.
Penn State will have two more signees playing on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in the Army All-American Bowl, as offensive guard Caedan Wallace and linebacker Lance Dixon will suit up to represent the East.