2017 S Kyron Johnson (Gabe Brooks / SCOUT)

Versatile defender Kyron Johnson begins journey with KU

Kyron Johnson's high school coach explains what makes him a special, versatile defensive option for the Jayhawks.

Scout has Arlington Lamar (Texas) High School product Kyron Johnson listed as a safety. He played some defensive end his senior year in high school and Kansas now has him listed as a linebacker.

It’s safe to say, Johnson is a little bit versatile.

“He’s very sharp. He was a sophomore when I rolled in here. He was a little behind at first in terms of his roles and responsibilities,” Arlington Lamar High School coach Laben Delay said. “He had a great spring of his sophomore year to put himself in position to make an impact his junior year. He became a student of the game. On his own, he became a student of the game and those guys are fun to coach because they’re also eager and ready to learn.”

Johnson racked up 125 tackles his senior campaign, and made the coaches’ all-district team.

A phenomenal athlete in space. He was on our sprint relay team, the 200-meter and was just really explosive,” Delay said. “In space, when you drop him, he’s got a good wingspan. His feet are so good that he can get in those passing windows in a hurry. The way we used him is because he had a great junior off season and great summer, he was able to gain some weight — our defense is pretty multiple and we were able to line him up at defensive end.

“When it comes to defensive end, he’s kind of a technician. His first punch is a great blow delivery. He sets the edge quickly and is able to turn things inside. We looked at our strengths and weaknesses, and we were able to put him on the line of scrimmage. We were able to play some games with him, and those guys don’t come around every year.”

He projects to play at the WILL linebacker spot for Kansas, Delay said.  

“He’s also probably going to give them an opportunity to walk up on the line of scrimmage and be a rush end pass rusher,” he said. “Because of his athleticism, there’s a lot of things you can do with him. He’ll be able to put on some weight and not lose his speed.

“He was always around the football, and if he wasn’t, he was busting his tail to get there.”

Delay said fans will also love what Johnson brings to the Kansas program in terms of leadership and character.

“He’s a high-character kid. He’s one of those guys that is not only a leader on the field because of his play, but academics are important to him and his family,” he said. “He’s involved in different community events. He’s really humble and always wanting to serve others. He’s one that a lot of guys here look up to.”

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