Clemson officially added Tayquon Johnson to their 2019 recruiting class today. Johnson comes to Clemson from Williamsport, Maryland (Williamsport). The 3-star DT measures at 6’2’’ 295lb and is rated as the #31 DT in the 2019 class and #482 player overall per the 247Sports Composite®. His 3-star rating can be partially attributed to his relatively low level of competition in high school. Johnson has all the potential to be a dominant force on the inside.
Johnson’s lead recruiter was Todd Bates, who will serve as his position coach at Clemson. Johnson’s star rating didn’t keep college football’s blue bloods from recruiting him. He chose the Tigers over offers from Alabama, Georgia, and Penn State.
Johnson’s film shows just how disruptive of a defensive tackle he can be. He has great initial burst and shows the strength to drive blockers into the backfield. He pairs that ability with active hands to shed blocks and reach opposing players either at or behind the line of scrimmage. He projects as a 3-tech in our system and will greatly aid in Brent Venables’s future quests to lead the nation in tackles for loss.
While he shows great potential, he’s not a finished product yet and normally would be on the bubble for redshirt in my opinion. However, with the projected lack of depth at defensive tackle next year, Johnson seems like the type of player coaches could throw into the fire and see what happens. He will not be an early enrollee.
Take a look at Johnson’s hudl film here and share your thoughts in the comments below.
First, newly minted Maryland Head Coach Mike Locksley tried really hard to get Johnson to delay his signing. Happily, that did not happen. Locksley is going to be a recruiting pain in the mid-atlantic region if he can win with any consistency at Maryland (which is a shame because Clemson is starting to make real progress in the area as programs like FSU struggle).
Johnson is a defensive tackle all the way. He could play 3-tech or nose potentially. He comes from a small school and plays against marginal competition so the question with him has always been how his skills will translate. He shows quickness for a man of 295 pounds and can get low and play with decent leverage. Good enough athlete that he played fullback on his high school team (seems to be an emerging trait among our DT’s!).
The word I would use to describe his game is explosive. Shoots gaps effectively. Likes to attack as a lineman. In a down year at DT, he was a great early pickup to build around. Again, the question is how will he fare against stronger competition.