Johnson brings accuracy, arm strength to Vols

One of the most highly coveted quarterbacks in the 2017 class committed to Tennessee Sunday. What makes him such a special player and what are the Vols getting under center with his verbal pledge?

Butch Jones is no stranger to landing elite quarterback prospects, and on Sunday the Tennessee third-year head coach continued his assault on the recruiting trail by adding the verbal commitment of Scout four-star quarterback Hunter Johnson. The class of 2017 Brownsburg, Indiana, native currently stands as the No. 1-rated signal caller in the Midwest Region and already puts an enormous feather in Jones' cap as the only current 2017 commitment.

What separates Johnson from the rest of the pack is his arm strength and accuracy, which he's able to showcase weekly for Brownsburg High School. The No. 3-ranked overall quarterback in the 2017 class can make almost every throw in the book and is just as good at launching a deep ball as he is hitting a quick comeback route.

"For Johnson, it's his elite arm that distinguishes him as one of the top quarterbacks in the country in his class," Scout recruiting analyst Anna Hickey wrote in Johnson's breakdown. "He has the ability to make all the throws, whether it's dropping it in over the top to his wide out in stride or showing near-perfect accuracy in tight spaces. Johnson puts outstanding zip on the ball when needed but understands when its called upon to exhibit touch and dial back the pace. He's capable of a quick release and more often than not doesn't hold on to the ball too long."

The 6-foot-2, 197-pounder also exhibits great poise in the pocket with a keen ability to buy himself time and make his progressions. Despite limited mobility, Johnson is able to use his feet to his advantage to move around and find space to get the ball off to his receivers before being taken down.

The Hoosier State native spurned offers from Notre Dame, Florida, Penn State, Michigan, Oklahoma and others to pledge his verbal commitment with Tennessee.

"This was a huge recruiting win for Butch Jones and his staff," Hickey said. "Johnson possessed offers from programs spanning the nation, and he was the No. 1 target on just about everyone's board that had expressed interest, including Notre Dame, the in-state school less than three hours away."

The Scout four-star QB gets the ball out of his hands quickly, makes sound decisions and matches his eye-popping velocity with great touch. Johnson's announcement gives Tennessee its second Scout four-star quarterback commitment, along with New Jersey native and class of 2016 prospect Jarrett Guarantano. Tennessee offered Johnson first, helping with the process, and his maturity as a signal caller and leadership ability are but icing on the cake when it comes to his ability as a quarterback.


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