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UCF Player Preview: Amari Johnson

A senior leader for UCF, Amari Johnson is previewed for the 2022 season.

When certain players walk onto a football field, there’s a sense from fans knowing that guy is going to give it his all; he’s going to ball out. That’s also the definition of today’s UCF player profile. This young man is easy to root for.

Amari Johnson

Amari Johnson Wide Receiver UCF

Amari Johnson, UCF Wide Receiver

Size: 5’10”, 160 pounds

Position:

Year: Senior - could come back in 2023 due to the 2020 COVID year

Statistics

Johnson was a part of the screen game that UCF used often last season, catching 23 passes for 149 yards and one score. As a runner, Johnson carried the football seven times for 27 yards and a touchdown.

While not gaudy offensive statistics, Johnson was a part of doing the dirty work. He helped move the chains with those screens and reverses and not the long ball like some other receivers. Johnson just kept on doing his job. That’s just the beginning of his value to the UCF roster.

Positionless

He’s a receiver, yes. More importantly, Johnson is a slot receiver that is also a tremendous special teams performer. He helps the team as a punt return man, returning nine punts for 79 yards last season. He would also run down on special teams and make tackles.

How many 160-pound receivers are really interested in running full speed and creating a collision? For his combination of overall contributions, Johnson is a football player and not just a wide receiver.

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Best Wide Receiver Skill

Quickness. Johnson is a slot receiver that an opposing defensive back does not want to be one-on-one with. As a receiver, he’s going to work the underneath routes and make plays after the ball is in his hands.

Best Overall Skill

Toughness. He’s that rare player that relishes contact unlike most players his size. That’s where the respect factor truly comes into the equation. Johnson is one of the hardest workers on the team and definitely one of the best special teams performers.

The UCF coaches love his special teams value, and that starts with Johnson’s toughness. Running down and attempting to make a tackle on special teams is not for everybody; it is for Johnson though.

2022 Role

This is the interesting part. Will Johnson be used in a similar role at receiver in 2022 as compared to 2021? UCF’s wide receiver depth has expanded via the Transfer Portal, so there is certainly competition for wide receiver playing time.

Screens and short passes are all but assured with how Head Coach Gus Malzahn likes to use the underneath routes, but do not count out Johnson from making a few big catches down the field either. He has plenty of speed and elusiveness to get open, and his heart should not be questioned.

Johnson is one of the good guys. He’s a player that every fan should respect and he’s due to have some great moments this next season in a UCF uniform.


2023 UCF Commitment List

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