Prospect: Justin Johnson
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 5-foot-11, 190 pounds
Position: Running Back
School: Edwardsville (Ill.)
Schools of Interest: Considering Louisville, Minnesota, Michigan State, Cal, West Virginia and Washington State.
Projected Position: Running Back
Frame: Compact frame with average length. Strong trunk with developed and muscular lower half. Some room to add mass to upper body, chest.
Athleticism: Runs well with above-average quickness. Some lean but plays with lower center of gravity with easy bouncing ability. Accelerates well, creating chunk plays in linear fashion, often off of primary cut. Comfortable tracking the football in the air.
Instincts: Presses LOS with vision and body control. Balance to run through arm tackles. Tough to bring down thanks to strength, lateral ability and power. Can hold own as pass catcher in short to intermediate game.
Polish: Efficient runner without much wasted movement. Decisive style pairs well with plus footwork. Relatively elusive in the open field with high-stepping nature through third level, spin move and other samples. He is good enough at the point to contend as pass protector with some ball skills displayed on tape.
Bottom Line: Johnson is a balanced running back prospect with the decisive, no-nonsense style that still translates in today’s game. Workhorse traits like great contact balance and physicality are also at play, along with comfort in the passing game as well as in space. While not elite in any one category, there is still the need for potential three-down backs who shine through contact.