LSU once again added to its talented wide receiver depth chart with the addition of AJ Johnson from New Orleans.
For the class of 2022, one of the obvious priorities for LSU coach Ed Orgeron and the entire Tigers coaching staff would be signing in-state talent. With the addition of talented wide receiver AJ Johnson from New Orleans (Isidore Newman), that makes seven Louisiana prospects that have already committed to LSU. For 2021, the entire LSU recruiting class included only nine players from inside Louisiana borders. The Tigers coaching staff hold good reason to go after so many local prospects for the 2022 cycle..
The 2022 Louisiana group is very good. That’s great news for LSU, and the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Johnson is amongst the best of the group, and his ceiling is very high as he’s only scratching the surface of what he can do. That’s why Johnson earned offers from programs like Ole Miss, Georgia, Florida State, Alabama, and Miami before selecting the home state Tigers.
When watching Johnson’s film, his size is one of the first things that presents itself. His big frame and catch radius are simply overwhelming for most defensive backs to handle. This diving catch pretty much says it all.
An extension of Johnson’s size would be his ability to gain extra yards after contact. At the end of this kickoff return, watch Johnson plow into an unsuspecting defender. This is not your typical wide receiver that just jogs out of bounds at the end of a run.
Johnson went directly at the defensive back and made sure to gain as much yardage as possible. It’s awesome watching a player with so much passion. Johnson is a football player.
The final and perhaps most shocking part of Johnson’s game would be his footwork. He’s shifty. Rare for a 6-foot-4 prospect to adjust his body and shift direction so naturally. This young man’s hip turn and ability to shift body weight resembles a 5-foot-8, 160-pound player. The video will explain the rest.
As for Johnson’s position at LSU, that’s to be decided. He’s definitely a wide receiver, mind you, but he’s far from a player that must play any particular position. Again, he’s agile for a big player so he could play boundary, outside to the wide side of the field, or even slot receiver.
Once Johnson understands the LSU play book, look for the Tigers to find different ways to line him up within the slot on one play, then move him to another position on the very next play. His versatility will be an asset.
As LSU continues to build its wide receiver core, Johnson is an absolutely fantastic commitment. He’s capable of making many big catches in an LSU uniform.