SI All-American Candidate Isaiah Johnson Highlights and Evaluation
Prospect: DB Isaiah Johnson
Projected Position: Johnson has the size to play in the boundary as a cornerback, while also having potential to become a safety in college.
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-1, 180 pounds
School: Bluefield (W.Va.)
Committed to: Arizona State
Frame: Tall and lean-looking athlete with a high-cut frame. Long arms with good definition throughout his body.
Athleticism: Johnson has very good timed-speed, as he ran a 4.52 40-yard dash time at The Opening Regionals in 2018. He also cocked a 4.25 shuttle time and vertical jumped 38 inches. He shows good balance and quick feet, along with surprising strength and thump at the point of attack as a tackler.
Instincts: As a cornerback, Johnson plays mostly off-man coverage and typically uses a slow-play technique on the perimeter, where he can read and react. He can turn and run to carry receivers through the third level thanks to his long speed and challenge at catch points. He plays receiver on offense for Bluefield, and his ball skills also translate to the secondary.
Polish: Johnson broke his ankle and missed a considerable amount of time in 2019. His length and speed make up for adequate footwork in transition, as he will take a false step or two at times getting out of his pedal. He has the length to be developed into a more effective press corner at the college level, while his speed, range and ball skills also are traits of an elite safety.
Bottom Line: Athletic and speedy, Johnson is a defensive back with some positional versatility on the back-end. He could eventually fit in well as a boundary corner with his size and athleticism, but it would not be shocking to see him grow into a starting safety in college. While there are some raw areas of his game that need to be refined, such as his transition/plant-and-drive footwork and press-man technique at the line of scrimmage, Johnson possesses elite length and speed, along with good ball skills. He will find a home in a collegiate secondary and develop into a starting-caliber back-end defender.