The University of Miami picked up a commitment from one of the state's premier tight end prospects on Monday. Lets take a closer look at him.
What to Like: Travis Johnson
is a very good football player. That's the first thing that jumps out at you. When I watched his film at the end of last season, I was impressed. He was a big target that could run around pretty well but he showed a lot of good football skills -- he had soft hands, he was aggressive in going after the football, he could run good routes, he could catch balls in traffic, and he could make things happen after the catch. And, as bonus, he wasn't afraid to mix it up in the running game as a blocker on the outside. He had a productive junior season and with that film, a lot of schools starting going after him. When I watched him at the IMG 7on7 back in March, he was one of the top 2-3 players on the field. He catches everything close to him. He has soft hands but they're very strong. He has good football instincts. He plays fast. He simply has a knack for coming up with big plays, especially when his team needs it most. At 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, he already has ideal size for a pass-catching tight end prospect going into his senior season. The commitment of Johnson gives Miami
another national recruit from the Tampa area, where the Canes continue to run circles around Florida State
and Florida in terms of recruiting success under Al Golden -- an area the Canes had previously struggled with (even under Butch Davis and his great recruiting classes).
What may concern you: While Johnson has good football speed because of his football IQ, he doesn't have blazing speed. He's probably a 4.8 type in the 40 so no one will be confusing him for Kellen Winslow anytime soon. He also gained a lot of weight from the end of his junior season until the start of spring football and it wasn't all muscle. He may lose some weight before gaining it once he gets to college. And despite growing up a big Miami fan and having close to 40 offers by the time spring football was over, Miami wasn't one of them. They had to wait until their summer camp season before finally pulling the trigger on him.
Bottom Line: Johnson is an excellent prospect. He has enough size and athleticism. He has a tremendous football skillset. He's the type of player who should be able to play right away. Miami is in desperate need of some pass-catching tight ends in this class and Johnson gives them one. He joins 4-star Standish Dobard (Louisiana) as a good one. Jeremy Kerr (6-6/260) is also a tight end commitment but probably has a better chance of playing left tackle at Miami. Either way, the Canes have done a tremendous job of filling the need at tight end. Dobard was recruited like one of the nation's best and Johnson, with 40+ offers, was recruited as hard as any other tight end in the state, perhaps with the exception of Mike Heuerman (Notre Dame). This is a nice commitment for the Canes.