We've got just 61 days until the Bronco opener, but that jersey number is yet unclaimed, so today I'll highlight a guy that wound up double-booked in the #20 uni with Tanner Vallejo—Terrell Johnson
#61, Terrell Johnson, Junior, WR
Weight: 172 lbs.
High School/College: San Clemente HS, Saddleback JC
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Johnson was an unheralded walk-on that joined the team during 2013 summer workouts. Of course, once I did a little research on him, I started to wonder just where all that heralding ran off to. Looking at Johnson's highlight tape (embedded below), it's a bit of a head scratcher how Johnson escaped some bigger D1 offers. As a senior at San Clemente, Johnson had over 1,300 all-purpose yards and scored 9 TDs and was later named MVP of the Orange Country All-Star game as a late fill-in at running back. Then, in 2012 at Saddleback JC, Johnson had 608 receiving yards and 4 TDs for the Gauchos. Wha' happened?
Initially, this was the best I could come up with. /rimshot
2013 Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year. MVP of 2011 OC All-Star Game.
Winning postseason awards is generally a pretty good indicator of a prospect's potential and I think Johnson surprised a lot of people when he brought home the hardware for Offensive Scout Team POTY at the end of last season. Keep in mind, Joe Martarano won the award on the defensive side and Tanner Shipley on Special Teams. Both of those players were highly sought-after recruits...no one much knew who Johnson was until he showed up on campus after a stint at Saddleback JC. None of that really matters once you're on campus, obviously...but walk-ons certainly have to go above and beyond to catch the eye of the staff, and Johnson appears to have done just that. Chadd Cripe singled Johnson out last Fall as a receiver showing "playmaking potential" alongside Shipley and Thomas Sperbeck. Sperbeck ended up playing last year as a true frosh and looks like the presumptive starter at the third WR spot. Shipley and Johnson redshirted, but picked up where they left off this Spring and that aforementioned trio should be on track to do big things this Fall.
Johnson's skill set and stature definitely put him in the slot receiver mold and I think with SWR, Dallas Burroughs, AJ Richardson and potentially Cory Young or Devan Demas, the slot position should have lots of ammunition for safe, high-reward screen and swing passes from Grant Hedrick. Last year, Williams-Rhodes was really the only viable option there, but with the bag full in 2014, there's no reason we can't see more explosive plays from our WR corps. I think Johnson will play a lot this Fall and should be able to net a couple hundred yards from scrimmage.
Is he on Twitter?
Completely made up fact
Johnson's great-grandfather, Bratwurst Johnson, was the founder and first mayor of Johnsonville.