We’ve already started discussing that the 2020 class will largely be made by what happens with four, top 75 offensive skill position recruits: running back Chris Tyree, receivers Jordan Johnson and Jalen McMillan, and athlete AJ Henning. Notre Dame is in a strong position with all four; they are listed as “warm” prospects on 247’s site, and all have expressed strong interest in Notre Dame.
On Sunday I broke down electric running back target Chris Tyree and how he would be a perfect fit in the Notre Dame offense – especially with the recent addition of Lance Taylor as RB coach. Christian McCaffrey’s old position coach at Stanford could have another McCaffrey type dynamo on his hands if the Irish can lure Tyree to South Bend.
This installment is a break down of top 50 receiver target, Jordan Johnson.
Jordan Johnson, The Player
Measureables: 6-2, 180
Unlike Chris Tyree, Johnson does not have a listed 40 time, vertical jump, or anything like that, so we have to gauge his athleticism solely by the eye test. And upon viewing, the conclusion is: very good athlete! Johnson is in some ways the best of all worlds in terms of his build. He’s 6’2, which gives him a height advantage over most corners, but he’s not so tall that he’s a plodder who can’t get separation on deep routes.
Johnson is an extremely smooth receiver who gets in and out of his cuts effortlessly and without losing speed. This makes things very difficult for defensive backs who are likely slower than him anyway. When Johnson gets them off balance and commits to his route, it’s largely game over. Johnson shows very good ability to high point the ball on deep throws, and gives his quarterbacks plenty of room when running a seam to the outside. He’s already adept at “stacking” the cornerbacks on go routes, defeating the corner then cutting in front of them up the seam, and scores a good bit of his touchdowns this way.
Johnson also displays very good run after the catch ability, a plus for a player of his size. He has quick feet in traffic and gets upfield when he’s got the ball. Not much of a dancer constantly trying to shake people and looking for the home run. He’s not afraid of contact and will punish a tackler to get an extra yard or two.
Ranking: #49 overall, #9 wide receiver, and the #1 player from Missouri, .9754 rating, four star
Offer list: Notre Dame, Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Missouri, Oregon, Texas A&M, Arkansas
Jordan Johnson comes out of DeSmet High School in St. Louis, Missouri. Much like Tyree, Johnson holds offers from most top programs and can pretty much go wherever he expresses interest. Alabama has offered and Johnson has visited the school unofficially, but hasn’t scheduled an official visit as of yet.
He is listed as “warm” to Notre Dame and Arkansas, although there isn’t much information about him with an Arkansas connection, but he does keep things somewhat close to the vest. Obviously, Missouri is a player given it’s his home state, but they offered after Notre Dame which can be a big deal in the recruiting world.
Interest In Notre Dame
Johnson has visited Notre Dame for unofficial visits on a number of occasions, including to the junior day from last March and all through the past season, and his most recent visit came on January 27th of this year. Multiple visits is generally a very good sign. Notre Dame originally offered Johnson in January of 2018, just after his sophomore season, and was the third school–and first major school– to do so. Johnson also has a connection in Notre Dame incoming running back Kyren Williams. The two come from the same area and competed against each other in high school.
Johnson currently has an announcement date set for July 28th, 2019. With Notre Dame’s early offer, multiple visits, and other visits planned, but not yet scheduled, it is fair to call Notre Dame the clear leader here. Frankly, missing out on him would be a huge disappointment to the staff, who has put a lot of time and resources into building this relationship. Were he to sign, Johnson would be the highest rated receiver prospect of the Kelly era (although that could change throughout the year with fluctuations in rankings).