Several Schools Consistent with Philly Running Back Tysheem Johnson


Schools continue to make their pitch to Neumann Goretti (PA) athlete Tysheem Johnson as the electric prospect courts his over 20 verbal offers. The lack of visits during the recruiting cycle has made it difficult for Johnson to narrow his focus, but he has a handful that are remaining constant.

“I hear from Arizona State, Ole Miss, Stanford, Maryland, Cincinnati, LSU and West Virginia,” Johnson told All Terrapins. As schools lean on their established relationships to keep them in the mix, Johnson is staying patient as he eyes more visits before taking the next steps. “I don’t know where I’m going to go, I know a couple of them won’t be officials, so just in the meantime doing virtual visits then I’ll probably make a decision on the five schools later on for officials.”

Ole Miss has stayed squarely in the mix as co-defensive coordinator Chris Partridge has built the strongest relationship dating back to his time as a Michigan assistant. “I have a pretty good relationship with (secondary) coach [Chris] Partridge. I’ve built a good relationship because I’ve known him the longest out of these coaches that’ve been recruiting me. He was at Michigan recruiting me there and he never stopped, so it built from there.”

Johnson has one official visit set to Arizona State on December 12 as running backs coach Shaun Aguano points to the success of former Sun Devil running back Eno Benjamin.

“I know they have a real good coaching staff. Most of them have been in the NFL so I want to meet them in person. I’ve heard it’s beautiful out there, so I want to meet some of their players and here how it is.”

Maryland is going all-out to lure in the Philadelphia product as Johnson hears from head coach Mike Locksley, running backs coach Elijah Brooks and offensive line coach John Reagan. The pitch for Johnson to be the feature back “stands out,” according to him.

“Coach Locksley was saying I would touch the ball like 20 times a game. I remember that, they’ve told me that I could be the main running back. It seems like they’re about to build something very special, so that’d be something I’d be happy to be a part of.

LSU remains at the forefront of contenders as Johnson is recruited as a defensive back for the Tigers and their pedigree at the position puts them in high regard. “I like their history. Most of them end up in the NFL, they produce well and a lot of first-round draft picks. They want me to come in and play (defensive back) and they have a strong tradition with their backs.”

Distance won’t be as much of a factor as scheme in his decision “because at the end of the day, it’ll be more about where the best fit is.” While the opportunity to play on both sides of the ball is there for Johnson, his evaluation of his own strengths helps determine where he could fit in at the next level.

“I like that I can make plays in space and I can score coming through the trenches, so I can do it both ways,” Johnson added. “I like to be in space a lot of the time so that’ll play a major role.”

Ahead of senior year, Johnson is looking to top the Philadelphia single-season touchdown record of 45 touchdowns set by former Imhotep running back Mike Waters back in 2015. “Win a championship and I want to break the city record for touchdowns.”

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