Friday, July 23, 2010
Jerrod Johnson -- the tight end
By ESPN.com staff
Courtesy of ESPN Insider LaRue Cook, here's a look at what scouts had to say about Jerrod Johnson entering his senior season.
He may be the most intriguing receiver prospect in this class because just when you think he doesn't have enough speed or elusiveness to play receiver at the college level, he shows flashes that make you believe he might be able to. In all likelihood though, this fantastic athlete is probably destined for the tight end position and he'd be a darn good one.
Well, I guess you can't get 'em all right.
That's no mix-up. They're talking about the same Jerrod Johnson who earned the top spot on our Top 25 Big 12 players list and was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in the Big 12 on Thursday, as a quarterback.
In their defense, Johnson did play tight end for a couple plays (really) his sophomore season when Stephen McGee was the starter for the Aggies. That was Year 1 of the Mike Sherman Era in College Station. In Year 3, Sherman might incite a riot at Kyle Field if Johnson takes a three-point stance on the edge of the offensive line, rather than crouched behind it.
Former A&M coach Dennis Franchione recruited Johnson and knew he had a quarterback on his hands from day one. "He didn't get to play QB as a junior in high school because they had a good one already in place," says Franchione, who got a verbal from Johnson as a sophomore, largely because Johnson's late father played receiver and defensive back for the Aggies. "Then we had him in our camp over the summer before he was a senior; we were still looking at seven or eight other QBs, but I told our QB coach, 'We've already got the best guy.'"
And Franchione, Sherman and A&M fans aren't the only ones who have noticed Johnson's progression from a one-year starter at quarterback in high school who threw for just 1,800 yards to the A&M school record holder for touchdown passes (51) and 300-yard passing games (seven) with an entire season still to play.
A Longhorns' starter, who asked not to be named, ranked Johnson as "the best player in the Big 12" this season. "When he played us as a sophomore, you could just tell he wasn't comfortable," he says, referring to Johnson being benched after a lackluster start to a 49-9 loss in 2008. "Then, last year, you knew he was ready and you could just tell he was the leader of that team."
You have to be an ESPN Insider to read the entire story, but it's well worth it for more on Jerrod Johnson's NFL future and what scouts have told him he has to do in order to improve his stock. Johnson also comments on where he thinks he belongs in relation to the other top quarterbacks in the 2011 class, like Washington's Jake Locker, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, Stanford's Andrew Luck and Florida State's Christian Ponder.