SMU Signing Day Profile: Ar'mani Johnson

PonyStampede's breakdown of Ridge Point cornerback and SMU signee Ar'mani Johnson.

Video Breakdown DB Ar'mani Johnson

SENIOR YEAR STATS: 49 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, one interception.

COMMITTED TO SMU OVER: Johnson chose SMU on May 11 over Fresno State, UTSA, McNeese State and Stephen F. Austin. Boise State offered after he committed.

SIDE NOTE: Johnson’s first passion was actually basketball, not football. 

AUDIBLE: “I wanted to go to a school that would have me set for life, a school like Harvard. Having a good degree after you hang the cleats up meant a lot to me. SMU gave me the best opportunity to better myself in the classroom and on the field, making me a well-rounded student-athlete. My goal in college is to get on the field as quick as possible. Knowing that a couple of DBs were leaving let me know if I put in the hard work and listen to what the coaches tell me, I have a chance at earning that spot. My goal is to becoming be a dominating DB and a freshman All-American.” 

How Johnson fits

As SMU looks to increase the speed in the secondary, Johnson is a good fit. He still has some room to grow in coverage, but given how well he plays in open field the Ride Point corner should be a good special teams player for the Mustangs. Right off the bat he adds depth to what is now becoming a talented group and has a high ceiling to lead this group down the road. 

What Johnson brings

Johnson is a very good tackler and will provide some nice depth for SMU. He still needs to work on his coverage a little more, but with his solid length he is able to knock a lot of balls away. Johnson shows solid ball skills, one thing he can improve on however is taking the ball away instead of just batting it down. With SMU’s heightened focus on forcing turnovers, this should be a skill he can develop. 

Expectations for freshman year

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Johnson redshirt next season with Jordan Wyatt, Eric Sutton, William Jeanlys and Christian Davis among the returning corners. If SMU opts to burn his redshirt, Johnson should be a good special team contributor in large part due to his good open field tackling. This was something SMU struggled with last season on special teams.

Career expectations for Johnson

With Johnson’s speed and length, he could end up as the best cornerback in this class . The tools are there for him to be a solid contributor even if it does take some time to develop. SMU has the luxury of being patient with their young defensive backs and can let them develop before giving them a lot of snaps. 

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