Jalen Johnson became Georgia Tech's third commitment on May 30, 2013, ending a 10-week drought in the recruiting realm and kicking off a massive month of June for the Jackets. He hails from Oneonta High School in Oneonta, AL. (Oneonta is found by going West on I-20 to Pell City, taking US-411 North and then UN-231 East, crossing over I-59 in the process. It's not exactly a metropolis.) He's Oneonta's first football signee since Nolen Smith (3-star, UAB) and Judd Hunt (2-star, MTSU) in 2010. Johnson is listed at 6'2", 196lbs, and can play both wide receiver and safety. He signed with Georgia Tech over offers from Southern Miss and Furman.
Johnson's film is extremely limited, both in reps and general variety. For a guy who can play safety and wide receiver, there's really not much showing what he can do. Most of his film centers around him playing receiver, although he's likely slotted at safety for Tech. That said, as a receiver, Johnson (on this film) actually reminds me a lot of Anthony Autry. He's not blazing fast or particularly big, but has a good sense of balance and knows how to position his body effectively against a defender. He seems the type who won't be a superstar in any one area, but solid across the board. As a safety, it's anyone's guess. His one minute of highlights include two plays on defense, one where he makes an athletic pass deflection, and the other where he steps up into run support with good tackling form. Basic takeaway here is that he's basically Ed Reed or Brian Dawkins out there.
With so little film and coming from such a low-profile high school, one would assume that Johnson came to camp at Georgia Tech and really impressed the coaches in one way or another, and in that case I'll trust their judgment. At this point, based on such limited film, I'm thinking Johnson is more of a solid 9-85 guy than a superstar 1-8 guy. There are really a lot of athletes in this class that would seem more impressive at first glance. But, it takes all types to make a team function well, and any highly successful team will tell you the importance of solid back ups and a solid scout team. Whatever the case may be for Johnson, I wouldn't expect him to play as a freshman -- but then again, what do we really know about him to begin with? This is probably the single biggest unknown of the 2014 signing class.
Johnson was rated a 3-star by Rivals (5.5) and the 247Sports Composite (.8229).
Thoughts on Jalen Johnson? Can you discern anything more from this little bit of film? Can you find any more film on him? Is he a role-player or a big-time guy in his time at Georgia Tech?