Hometown: Coffeeville, Miss.
An imposing physical specimen, Johnson is a player who knows how to use his size to his advantage. The team captain started 45 games at right guard and three other contests at right tackle during his four-year career with the Rebels. He received the J. Richard Price Courage and Compassion Award, which is presented annually to the rising senior lineman who, in the opinion of his coaches, has demonstrated extraordinary courage and unusual compassion in their dedication to the team and Ole Miss.
With Belton (now with Cincinnati) lining up at right tackle, Johnson started at right guard in 2001, earning Freshman All-American (fourth-team) honors from The Sporting News. He and his brother were key players on an offensive line that was second in the Southeastern Conference in the fewest sacks allowed (14) as Ole Miss generated over 350 yards of total offense in 8-of-13 games, including at least 450 yards in four contests in 2002.
In 2003, he again started every game at right tackle, paving the way for an offense that helped Ole Miss rank first in the SEC in scoring (34.0 ppg), passing (286.0 ypg), and total offense (433.2 ypg) and set school season offensive records for points scored (442), touchdown passes (31), passing yards (3,718), passing yards per game (286.0), first downs (295), offensive plays (940), total offense (5,631) and total offense per game (433.2). In 2004, he did not allow more than two tackles in any game, including shutting out his opponents completely in the Wyoming and South Carolina clashes.
Positives: Has a wide body, with a barrel chest, long arms and legs … High-cut athlete who shows adequate flexibility, playing strength and explosion … Does a good job of using his size to gain advantage vs. the smaller defenders … His hand punch and field awareness are two of his better qualities, as he showed improvement in 2004 in bringing his hands up quicker coming off the ball to keep defenders off his chest … When he locks on to a defender, he can easily ride his man off the play … When he stays low in his pads, he can come off the snap with enough initial quickness to gain advantage … His hand extension allows him to gain leverage, and while he might lean into the defender at times, his size is an advantage when he attempts to make reach blocks … His wingspan and kick slide pose problems for edge rushers, as Johnson shows the foot speed to retreat and seal off … He keeps his balance setting up in pass protection and gets good placement to lock on to the defender's jersey … Short-sets and anchors very well and has good pad level for his height, bends his knees to gain position … When he climbs to the second level, he shows good strength at the collision point and has torque with defenders … Plays with a good physical nature and finishes well.
Negatives: Has a developing frame that needs to add more strength and bulk to his lower body … Flashes good quickness off the snap, but gets a little too erect in his stance and loses body control in attempts to block on the move (reason why scouts project him moving to tackle in the pros) … Can set with an adequate base and punch … While he shows a decent kick slide, he cannot accelerate with his feet in order to sustain … Struggles a bit vs. the speed rush and counter moves … Relies too much on his upper-body strength to combat his opponent, but once he locks on to a defender with his hands, he can maul him … Needs to develop better foot speed; he seems to die when trying to move upfield … Spends too much of his time leaning and pushing the defender rather than locking on to wall off … Makes a solid effort to block on the back side, but he lacks the body control to readily adjust … While he has the size to possibly move to offensive tackle, he lacks the leg drive and lower-body strength to maintain position vs. the bull rush … He has good quickness off the snap, but will false-step at times … When he leans into the defender, he can be beaten by quick lateral movement … Has average agility, but will lose his balance at times … Can pull, but struggles to adjust in space.
No injuries reported.
5.48 in the 40-yard dash … 3.11 20-yard dash … 1.85 10-yard dash … 4.71 20-yard dash … 7.71 three-cone drill … 27½-inch vertical jump … 8-foot-8 broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times … 35½-inch arm length … 9½-inch hands.
Attended Coffeeville (Miss.) High School, playing football for coach Perry Liles … First-team Clarion-Ledger all-state pick and member of the newspaper's Top 40 list … Chosen to SuperPrep's All-Dixie team … Three-year starter who played offensive tackle and defensive end as a junior, while seeing playing time at both guard and tackle on offense and end and nose tackle on defense during senior season … On defense as a senior, he was credited with 60 tackles, including four quarterback sacks … Earned three letters in football.
Criminal Justice major … Named to the U.M.A.A. Honor Roll in Spring 2002 … Son of Glenda Smith … Brother, Belton, was an offensive lineman at Mississippi from 1999-2002 and is presently playing for the Cincinnati Bengals … Born Marcus Allen Johnson on Dec. 1, 1981 … Resides in Coffeeville, Miss.
Marcus Johnson NFL Bio
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