Penn State lost a commitment from five-star offensive tackle Dorian Johnson Tuesday night. It was the second decommitment of the day, joining linebacker Zach Bradshaw, who opted out earlier in the day.
Johnson and Bradshaw join three other recent decommitments in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the resulting NCAA sanctions. They are: cornerback/receiver Will Fuller, who flipped to Notre Dame in July, defensive tackle Greg Webb, who flipped to North Carolina, and Ross Douglas, a corner who flipped to Michigan.
Johnson was Penn State's second or third-best recruit of the 2013 class. And importantly, he is the man who would have been tabbed to protect the blindside of QB recruit Christian Hackenberg, who some believe is the top quarterback in the country.
So far, Hackenberg has been solid to the Nittany Lions. But could Johnson's decommitment be the straw that breaks the camel's back?
Hackenberg told me on Monday that he's committed "as of right now" and that his decision will likely come down to how PSU does this year.— Roger Gonzalez (@RCGonzalez10) August 8, 2012
As each day passes, I just don't see C. Hackenberg staying with— Roger Gonzalez (@RCGonzalez10) August 8, 2012
#PSU. Has reached out to other schools and transfers aren't helping.
Given that Penn State's over/under win total in Vegas is 5.5 wins, the Lions are going to have to seriously overachieve to keep Hackenberg in the fold. If he is really basing his decision on how Penn State does this season, that is.
It's worth noting that Gonzalez spoke with Hackenberg on Monday, which was before Johnson and Bradshaw decommitted.
Will the decommitment of Johnson, a major piece of the offense in which Hackenberg will play, convince the QB to look elsewhere? It certainly won't help the Nittany Lions.
Hackenberg hasn't given any interviews after Johnson's departure, but it is worth noting that while he normally retweets many a rabid Penn State fan daily, he has been silent since the Johnson news broke.
Penn State's Class of 2013 now stands at just nine players.