While performing well in the 7-on-7 drill doesn't always translate to the football field when you have to put on the pads, it does give you a chance to at least evaluate a prospects athletic ability in regards to speed, change of direction and foot quickness. It also gives you the chance to see how a young man competes and takes coaching, which allows coaching staff's to make a more informed evaluation.
One young prospect that showed promising athletic ability, speed and a competitive mentality was rising sophomore Dajon Johnson from St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut High School. The 5-foot-7 and 150-pound wide receiver/cornerback had impressive showing at this past weekend's Sling and Shoot camp at USF.
Johnson who has not played in a varsity game yet for Admiral Farragut certainly caught my eye as well as the eye of at least one member of the USF staff.
The diminutive Johnson showed great speed in route running, getting on top of both defensive backs and linebackers before they could adjust. He also showed the ability to cut on a dime, often making two and three defenders miss in confined space when all they had to do was touch him with one hand. Johnson also demonstrated the ability to start and stop and then get back to full-speed within a few steps.
For an inexperienced player he also demonstrated a knack for going up and high-pointing the ball. The young player also seemed unfazed going against older, more experienced and bigger players.
"I'm enjoying it very much. I am having some success and my team is doing very good right now," said Johnson of attending his first football camp. "It helps me out; it shows me my strengths and weaknesses. I need to get stronger. I need to get in the weight room and continue to train hard."
A lot remains to be seen in regards to Johnson's develop as a football player and how he matures physically in relation to height, weight and strength. One thing is for certain he does possess the speed and athletic ability that college coaches look for in either a wide receiver or cornerback. Enough so that you can be sure USF will be checking back in on the class of 2016 prospect.
Look for more updates on Dajon Johnson as we get closer to the start of the 2013 football season.