The sons of former Longhorn All-American, member of the College Football Hall of Fame, and NFL Pro Bowler Johnnie Johnson committed to Charlie Strong and the Longhorns. Kirk is the ninth commitment for the 2015 class and Collin Johnson represents the first commitment for the 2016 Horns. The San Jose Valley Christian prepsters also represent a welcome incursion into California - a place we've long argued is an untapped, more accessible resource for the program than the blood sport of SEC country recruiting. Maybe we can open up some new recruiting lines through these Longhorns legacies.
They're an exciting package deal.
Collin Johnson - 6-4, 185, WR, 2016
It doesn't take many highlights to see why the young receiver has bewitching potential despite playing in an offense geared around the running game. In fact, seeing the second clip was all I needed. Collin snatches the ball out of the air decisively, has a huge receiving radius, good body control and the ability to get out of his breaks. Currently rated as the #11 prospect in California and a four star athlete, he has a lot of upside left to explore. And it's nice to see that he's at least a willing blocker.
Developmentally, Collin has a slight build, but his genetics and frame suggest that putting on 25-30 pounds of quality weight will be a breeze, making him even more effective as a high level possession receiver and red zone threat. He doesn't have elite speed, but this is a 16 year old athlete with a ton of athletic ability still yet untapped. As he gains weight and learns to pin DBs on his hip, he'll become an effective downfield threat winning 50/50 balls. I'm anxious to see his development over the next two years.
Kirk Johnson 6-0, 190, RB/DB, 2015
That first highlight is hilarious and somewhat unfair. Apparently they were playing a high school JV?
Older brother Kirk is ranked as the #30 prospect in California by 24-7. He ran for 1228 yards in only 7 games as a junior (sidelined by injury) while averaging over 8 yards per carry. Johnson is an effective, physical runner with exceptional balance and the ability to plant and accelerate upfield, but he lacks top end speed and I like his athleticism projected to another position if he can't alter his upright running style sufficiently to deal with higher level athletes and the gaping holes he's used to experiencing. 24-7 has him ranked as a 4 star athlete, but Rivals views him as a more marginal 3 star prospect.
From a developmental perspective, Kirk's size, balance and body control suggest potential at several other positions if he can't translate his never-say-die running skill set to the college game. It's worth noting that Kirk is an 18 year old junior. We'll see what that means to his ceiling.