HYATTSVILLE, Md. – DeMatha hosted St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) in a primetime WCAC matchup Sept. 30. Terrapin Times was on hand to scout St. John’s three-star defensive end Tyree Johnson. The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder is committed to Texas A&M, but he remains on Maryland’s radar and could be taking an official visit to College Park, Md.
Our take on his game is below:
Johnson is a prospect the Maryland staff will continue to pursue, and for good reason. Although he needs to hone his technique, his raw athleticism; strength; and inherent motor suggest a solid upside.
Physically, Johnson is long and sinewy, with very little bad weight. He could easily pack on bulk in order to hang in the trenches at the FBS level. Plus, Johnson has above-average arm length, allowing his to consistently gain extension.
Once he gets moving, Johnson is explosive off the edge and uses his speed to his advantage. He’s quick out of his stance, has a rapid-fire first step and can beat some tackles before they set up. Johnson keeps his pads low, maintaining leverage, while using his long arms and strong hands to his advantage. He does well firing his hands up, getting his arms out and hitting underneath offensive linemen’s pads.
The St. John’s product is also deft enough to come around backside before bee-lining into the pocket, or to deke outside before slicing back inside. Moreover, Johnson’s nimble feet allow him to “get skinny” in the holes and navigate through traffic.
On inside run plays, Johnson works to scrape off blocks and fill the holes. He’s physical and tough inside, playing through the whistle. Then, on outside runs, he flashes standout closing speed, showing the ability to catch runners from behind. He’s a sound open-field tackler and doesn’t let opponents out of his grasp.
Most impressively, Johnson forces onlookers to notice him. He’s the type to give all-out effort every single down, flying to the ball even when the play’s on the opposite side of the field.
Johnson, though, does need to work on his fundamentals. His hand placement isn’t always on-point, and he doesn’t always drive from his base, which can sap some of his power. Plus, he tends to lean on his speed-strength combination to beat linemen off the edge. He needs to develop his technique, particularly when rushing the passer.
Also, Johnson could stand to improve his open-field agility. Sometimes he'll get caught flatfooted or look a bit methodical when trying to angle up quick-twitch runners. He needs some work consistently gaining extension and disengaging too. Once in awhile he'll let offensive linemen get into his body.
Moreover, Johnson will sometimes overrun plays or fail to set the edge. As he gains experience, he’ll consistently maintain discipline.
Finally, Johnson must continue building up his body and adding even more muscle to his frame. Right now, he won’t be able to hold up on an SEC defensive line.