|I can't find a picture of Dytarious Johnson, so here's a picture of a shirtless Jim Harbaugh instead.|
Johnson is 6'1" and 215 lbs. He claims a 4.5 forty, a 32.5" vertical, a 315 lb. bench press, and a 405 lb. squat. As a junior in 2014, he had 82 total tackles.
Rivals: 2-star OLB
247 Sports: Unranked
Johnson had been picking up offers from smaller schools for a while. He visited Michigan in April with teammate and fellow Michigan commit Kingston Davis, and the coaching staff told him they would evaluate him at the Prattville satellite camp. The camp took place on Friday, Michigan extended an offer on Saturday, and Johnson committed. Both players played with Keith Washington in high school, a player who was their team's quarterback and a part-time cornerback before signing with the Wolverines in February.
I had been aware of Johnson's existence since he visited Michigan, but without much of a recruiting profile, I did not expect Michigan to pull the trigger on an offer, at least not this early. Now watching his film, it's clear to see what the coaches like in him. For being a linebacker, he's a very smooth runner who moves like a strong safety. The first highlight in his film below is of him playing man coverage on a slot receiver, staying right on his hip on a wheel route, and tracking the ball down in the air; he tips it to himself and races about 75 yards to the endzone. He also likes to hit, and he takes good angles to the football. One thing I also like is that he seems to understand his role as an outside linebacker, and he does a very good job of maintaining leverage and fighting off blocks to keep outside contain.
The athleticism is there, but some basic fundamentals are lacking. His stance and footwork will probably need to be adjusted, but that will come with reps and coaching. He will also need to get stronger and add a little bit of weight.
Overall, if you told me this was a 4-star recruit, I would not have batted an eyelash. That doesn't mean he's guaranteed to be a star, but college teams like speed and he has it. College teams like physical players, and he's physical. He can play and tackle in space, and he can be an asset in pass coverage. There's not much to dislike. As an outside linebacker, he should be able to do those things, and if he ends up at inside linebacker, he's a guy who should be able to go sideline to sideline.
Michigan now has ten players in the 2016 class, and Johnson is either the second or third linebacker, depending on whether David Reese plays defense or fullback. With four senior linebackers graduating and other contributors in their upperclassman years, Michigan is going heavy on linebackers this year and might take five. This is the fourth player Michigan has picked up since last Tuesday, joining a string of commitments that includes Michigan offensive guard Michael Onwenu, Indiana running back Kiante Enis, and Indiana slot receiver Chris Evans.
TTB Rating: 77 (ratings explanation)