Film Study: Roland Johnson

If his junior college highlight film is an accurate indicator of how he plays all the time, then Minnesota may have just found themselves an excellent defensive lineman in Roland Johnson.

Name: Roland Johnson
School: Butler CC (Kansas)
Class: 2012
Position: DL
Ht: 6'2"
Wt: 295

Recruiting Notes: Committed to Minnesota

The thing that stands out the most when watching Johnson is his relentlessness – his feet never stop moving as he engages offensive linemen and uses his lower body strength to continue pushing up field, at times even fighting through double teams. He has a good first step, comes off the ball low and uses his hands well to keep blockers away from him, which allows him to find the ball quickly and make plays in the backfield.

Johnson also shows very good athleticism for a defensive lineman. He has enough speed to run down ball carriers and moves laterally very well too, especially when doing twists and stunts at the line. But where his athleticism is really on display is when he is used in pass coverage during zone blitzes, dropping back from his DL position to cover underneath zones.

He flips his hips and gets into his zone with ease, looking more like a linebacker than a defensive lineman. On one play he got his hands on a receiver running through his zone and did much more than just disrupt his route – he blasted the receiver and knocked him to the ground.

When he is not dropping into coverage, Johnson does a great job of applying pressure to the quarterback, rushing from his usual spot at defensive tackle or at times from the defensive end position. He uses several techniques effectively to get past blockers – a swim move, a bull rush, or a spin off. He seems to have excellent awareness when rushing the QB, getting to the QB's depth and then spinning back underneath to make the play rather than rushing too far up field.

Overall, Johnson seems to be a player with excellent size, strength, and athleticism, and a high motor to go along with it. He should be a great addition to the defensive line in Minnesota.

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