Ex-Penn State WR Johnson joining Oregon early

Former Penn State wide receiver Juwan Johnson has signed a financial aid agreement with Oregon and will join the Ducks on Thursday morning -- much earlier than expected -- for their seventh practice of the spring.

Johnson wasn't going to join the team until this summer, but the two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection was able to register for his classes at Oregon, and he arrived on campus Monday night. He has one season of immediate eligibility remaining after graduating from Penn State in December with a degree in telecommunications.

"Juwan's a big-time addition to our program," coach Mario Cristobal said in a prepared statement. "He fits our DNA in a lot of ways and I'm excited for him to take the field. He'll immediately elevate the competition we have going at wide receiver and the experience he brings to the group and the offensive side of the ball will be extremely beneficial."

Johnson brings another level of excitement to the Oregon offense, which, after the Ducks finished 9-4 last season, is already facing surging expectations with the return of quarterback Justin Herbert. Johnson had at least one catch in 20 of his past 22 games, and had 81 receptions for 1,123 yards and two touchdowns during three seasons at Penn State.

The 6-foot-4 wideout had a breakout sophomore season in which he finished with 54 receptions for 701 yards. He had the winning touchdown catch as time expired at Iowa during the Nittany Lions' 11-2 season that included a victory in the Fiesta Bowl.

Johnson, a native of Glassboro, New Jersey, had 57 catches that resulted in a first down during his three seasons at Penn State. In 2017, Johnson also ranked in the top 10 in the Big Ten in 20-yard catches (10, tied for eighth), first-down receptions (38, tied for sixth), receiving yards in conference play (530, sixth) and receptions (41, tied for sixth) against Big Ten opponents.