"To be honest, I’m ready to go out there already and get started." – Zeandae Johnson
The Skinny on California commit Zeandae Johnson from Greg Biggins: Johnson is a massive kid that could end up on either side of the ball. He's a skilled TE with good hands and is a load to bring down in the open field. He's runs well for a big man and should be a nice third down and red zone weapon. He's also a very solid and willing blocker.
Defensively, Johnson plays as an end but has the size to move inside and play as a tackle if needed. He's a very strong, powerful kid who can get up the field and shows a nice motor to him.
Excited to get it rolling with the dream team 2015 ??— Zeandae (@Zeandaej) February 4, 2015
BT’s Take: Big Z, as he’s called, started this cycle as a lightly-regarded tight end, and that’s where I first saw him during the 7-on-7 circuit. As soon as I saw his body type, I told him he’d be better served focusing on defensive end, and that’s exactly what he did. He ended it with Jim Harbaugh and Michigan calling in to try and flip his commitment, wanting his big body as a tight end.
Johnson’s experience as a tight end will help him greatly as a defensive end. He’s long and athletic, without being too lean. He plays a little high, which is no surprise given his height, but he shows a lot of power and strength and is a real load to block. He’s not going to be your pass rushing defensive end, but he’ll hold point very well on the strong side against fullbacks and tight ends, at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds with a 4.66 40 time.
Johnson has very quick feet on both sides of the ball and is much more nimble than his size would suggest. He’s also got long arms that can wreak havoc on passing lanes. He uses those long arms to defeat blocks.
This is the perfect instance of the staff seeing an athlete with mostly offensive highlights and putting him on the defensive side of the ball – something the Bears needed to do during this recruiting cycle to shore up a porous defense.
As an end, his highlights show that he changes direction very quickly, and he plays with a lot of patience, letting a play develop. He also shows some very disciplined eyes on zone-read plays and isn’t often fooled by trickery at the mesh point.
Cal may very well not be done in the Central Valley. Sources say that Tyler Horton could make the call for the Bears with the flip to Michigan of Keith Washington.
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