H.S. Coach: Johnson brings more than speed

Most people know Egg Harbor Township (N.J.) receiver Tejay Johnson is also the reigning state champ in the 100 meters, but his high school coach says the 6-foot-2, 190-pound will bring than speed to Rutgers next season. Find out what else the Scarlet Knights can expect from their latest commitment, and whether he is ready to step in and contribute next season.

In an offensive age where versatility is crucial, Egg Harbor Township (N.J.) coach Tony DeRosa sees Rutgers' newest commit, Tejay Johnson, as a multi-faceted weapon.

"I think he can be a big, physical receiver,'' DeRosa said. "I think he can play the slot receiver. With everybody going to this Wildcat formation and stuff, he's a guy that can run a sweep for you.

"He can line up in the backfield in the I (formation). He can do a little of everything. I think they're getting a very multiple-type player.''

Johnson's most well-known attribute is his speed, but the 6-foot-2, 190 pound state champ in the 100 meters (10.67 seconds) brings much more to the football field.

"He has a lot football savvy about him,'' DeRosa said. "He understands the game. You only have to tell him stuff once. He knows where to line up.''

It is that understanding that allowed Johnson to play several positions offensively, as well as cornerback on defense, for the Eagles.

"We'll line him up as a single receiver, back side of trips,'' DeRosa said. "We'll line him up in the slot, we'll line him up in the I in the backfield and line him up at the quarterback position to take the snap, too. He does a lot.

"He's a very dynamic back. He can do a lot of things. If he can focus in on receiver, he will stand out.''

Johnson also should fit in nicely with a corps of young players on an offense that will be led by current freshman quarterback Tom Savage and receiver/classmate Mohamed Sanu.

"They're getting a great athlete and a great person,'' DeRosa said. "They're getting the fastest kid in the state of New Jersey. I think Rutgers has a great situation with the freshman quarterback, the other freshman receiver/running back. They got three great kids up there (now) that can bond real well together.''

The plan at Rutgers is for Johnson to play receiver.

He should provide an immediate jolt of speed, which is something the Scarlet Knights will need since top play-making and stretch-the-defense threat Tim Brown will play in his final game in Saturday's St. Petersburg Bowl against Central Florida.

But it also means there could be a lot of pressure on Johnson to succeed early.

"I think he could compete at that level right away,'' DeRosa said. "Will he be a difference maker as a freshman? I don't know. Time will tell, but I think down the road his potential is unlimited.''


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