Kan Li / Scout

Gator Wildcard Week: Fred Johnson

Every day this week we’ve talked about one of the players on the 2016 Gators that can have a huge impact that hasn’t already done so. We are going to call this the Wildcard because there is a bit of the unknown. Friday’s Wildcard is offensive tackle Fredrick Johnson.

How he got to Florida: Fredrick Johnson was part of Jim McElwain’s big haul of offensive linemen in the first class he signed as the head coach at the University of Florida. Favoring Miami through most of the process, the Gators were able to show the need and more importantly show just how much they wanted Johnson, so he switched loyalties in the last week of the process and jumped on board with Florida.

Gator Wildcard Week: Duke Dawson (Saturday)

Gator Wildcard Week: Ahmad Fulwood (Sunday)

Gator Wildcard Week: Alex Anzalone (Monday)

Gator Wildcard Week: Mark Thompson (Tuesday)

Gator Wildcard Week: Taven Bryan (Wednesday)

Gator Wildcard Week: Kylan Johnson / David Reese (Thursday)

What he’s done at Florida:  A massive offensive tackle prospect, he played only a little more than a year of high school football, and so he was extremely raw coming in. Despite that, his athletic ability and massive size and strength allowed him to play as a true freshman along a front that was devoid of talent and experience. In all he played in eight games and started two gaining valuable experience along the offensive line.


Why he is a Wildcard: Tackle may be thinnest position on the team with regard to SEC talent. Still raw, Johnson is expected to compete for is not start at the right tackle position. Martez Ivey’s return from injury will come in the summer and it is to be determined whether he will still line up inside or play outside. Regardless, Johnson playing at a higher level allows for so much more flexibility up front in terms of injury or if someone isn’t playing well.

There may not be a more athletic player on the offensive line that Johnson. It is simply a matter of getting technique down, staying consistent with that technique, and also knowing the playbook inside and out. 

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