Standout York-Adams football recruit to play for Power 5 team coming off title season

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
Kenny Johnson is coming off a standout junior season at Dallastown High School.

Kenny Johnson has made his college decision.

The standout Dallastown High School wide receiver will remain in Pennsylvania and play for the Pitt Panthers.

Johnson announced his decision on Saturday on his Twitter site (@Kennyjohnson05).

“I would like to say thank you to all of the coaches that haven taken a chance on me and have given me the opportunity to play for their program…

“With that being said,

“I am 100% committed…hail to Pitt.”

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The 6-foot, 2-inch, 190 pounder will be a senior in the fall.

Last year, in 10 games for the for the Wildcats, Johnson had 46 receptions for 852 yards, averaging 18.5 yards per catch. He had seven touchdowns, helping Dallastown to a 6-4 season.

Johnson was an all-state selection last fall in Class 6-A by both the Pennsylvania football writers and the state’s coaches.

That followed a breakout sophomore season for Johnson in 2020 for York Suburban, when he had 30 caches for 633 yards, averaging 21.1 yards per reception with nine touchdowns during a COVID-shortened six-game season, when Suburban finished 4-2.

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Johnson transferred from Suburban to Dallastown shortly before the 2021 football season. The move was made because of a change in Johnson's family residence, and not related to football.

A three-star recruit: Johnson is rated as a three-star recruit (on a five-star scale) by both Rivals and 247, the latter of which ranks him as the No. 102 wideout nationally in the 2023 class and the No. 15 player in Pennsylvania.

After visiting Pitt this weekend, he committed to the Panthers over a number of other schools that offered him scholarships — a group that included Penn State, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Rutgers (where he had established a relationship with new Pitt wide receivers coach Tiquan Underwood), Boston College, Minnesota and Cincinnati. He had visited Penn State four times since last October, according to Rivals.

Before making his announcement, Johnson was considered by all of the major recruiting analysts as a strong Penn State lean.

“A huge factor is Coach Wood (Underwood),” Johnson told Pittsburgh Sports Now before his visit. “Him and I go back to when he was at Rutgers, where he started recruiting me. Him and I just really clicked. He’s just a really good dude and really good people. He came to Pitt and I went there for an unofficial visit with my coach. My parents weren’t able to come up with me, so I’m really excited for them to meet him and see everything that I saw with him. The biggest thing with Coach Wood is that he’s real with you and doesn’t sugarcoat anything. He’s just a real genuine person with a kind heart.”

Pitt, a Power Five program, is coming off an 11-3 season, including a 7-1 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Panthers, under head coach Pat Narduzzi, won the ACC championship last season and played in the Peach Bowl.

Will be part of terrific tandem at Dallastown. Next season at Dallastown, Johnson is expected to play for his third different head coach in three seasons. Levi Murphy has taken over the Wildcats’ program for Ron Miller, who resigned after the season.

Murphy may have the two most talented wideouts in the York-Adams League this coming fall in Johnson and Michael Scott. Last year as a freshman, the 5-9, 160-pound Scott had 33 receptions for 457 yards, averaging 13.8 yards per catch, with four touchdowns.

Johnson and Scott helped Dallastown win the York-Adams 400 relay title this spring with a school-record time of 42.23 seconds. Scott would go on to win the league boys’ long jump at 20 feet, 9.5 inches.

Big weekend for Pitt: Johnson’s commitment was just part of a huge recruiting weekend for Pitt. In addition to Johnson, the Panthers also landed commitments from Isaiah Neal, a three-star defensive tackle from Maryland; Brice Pollock, a three-star cornerback from Georgia; Shadarian Harrison, a three-star athlete/corner from Florida; Shelton Lewis, a three-star corner from Georgia; and Antonio Camon, a three-star defensive lineman from Florida.

With those six commitments, Pitt's 2023 recruiting class went from being ranked No. 78, according to Rivals, to No. 22.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contributed to this report.