For some people it’s just another summer Saturday, but the Rutgers football coaching staff continues to put work on the recruiting trail. The program held a barbecue for a select group of recruits and per Todderick Hunt of nj.com, the Scarlet Knights secured a commitment from Wide Receiver Marlyn Johnson out of the Peddie School in Hightstown.
BREAKING: Big-time Peddie WR Marlyn Johnson talks #Rutgers pledge #RFootball #B1G #NJFootball @HSSportsNJ https://t.co/yuQ5oIN4Av— Todderick Hunt (@TodderickHunt) July 28, 2018
Johnson tweeted his own announcement later in the day:
Thank you to the man above and to all that have helped and joined me in my journey thus far❤️!!! With that being said I would like to announce that I will be committing to.....— 〽️AR (@1marlynjohnson1) July 28, 2018
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY ⚔️ #GoScarletKnights #AshEra pic.twitter.com/HfzcUPwetH
The Ambler, Pennsylvania native plays across the Delaware and holds offers from fourteen schools per 247sports. Fellow Big Ten Schools Nebraska and Maryland are joined on the list of those who have offered by eight other Power Five programs including Virginia, Boston College, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia. Johnson is also receiving interest from Penn State who has yet to make an offer.
At 6’4” and 190 pounds, Marlyn is a solid three-star prospect, the 25th best in New Jersey for the 2019 class according to the 247 composite. His primary recruiter is assistant head coach AJ Blazek, who continues to impress on the recruiting trail. Of note is that former Rutgers assistant Jafar Williams is leading the Terrapins efforts to get Johnson in a Maryland uniform.
The first thing that jumps out from his highlights are the ball skills. Whether on offense or defense, Marlyn shows an ability to win 50-50 balls with one or two hands, he looks like a basketball player (a la Andre Patton). Even more impressive is how many plays he keeps his feet in bounds near the boundary, demonstrating great body control. His long arms make it easy for him to defeat press coverage at the high school level, so it will be interesting to see how that translates. He also uses his arms well as a willing and able blocker utilizing a combination of strength and leverage quite well for a high schooler.
Johnson doesn’t show many moves once he has the ball, but that may be because his speed allows him to run away from people. Per nj.com he ran a 4.54 40 yard dash on the Temple campus, and being a tall guy, his long strides make it extremely difficult to catch him once he gets loose. This again reminds me of Patton’s high school highlights, though Marlyn is a little leaner, more of an Andrew Turzilli build at this point.
I like the pickup in principle as the team needs receivers with upside in each class. The big thing (literally) is that Johnson does have height and knows how to use it. The true receivers brought in the 2017 and 2018 classes possess more speed than size, so in the interim the staff will leverage tight ends in the red zone as well as athletes including Daevon Robinson and Zihir Lacewell who may end up at other positions eventually. Most fans would sign up for another Patton, as the tradition of tall receivers who carried college success to the NFL from the banks has slowed somewhat from the peak a few years ago. Based on initial highlights only, Marlyn looks like he should have the second biggest impact, (Zukudo Igwenagu), at RU in the 2019 class so far.
Just spoke to Marlyn Johnson, #Rutgers' newest commit. Great job by Blazek here. Also received help from current commits Donovan Bunch, CJ Hanson and current WR Bo Melton. Johnson tells me he is completely shutting his recruitment down from here on out. #NJFootball— Todderick Hunt (@TodderickHunt) July 28, 2018
Johnson is the only wide receiver committed in the Rutgers 2019 class so far, though athlete Jaaron Hayek could play there. The eleven total verbal commits thus far each have a 3-star rating in the latest 247 composite rankings. The current class is ranked 59th nationally and 13th in the Big Ten per 247 Sports. The positive news is that Ash and the coaching staff have gotten a commit for the first time since Anton Oskarsson earlier this month. Hopefully they get more good news now that the “dead period” is over.
Here are Johnson’s junior year highlights.
Welcome to the banks Marlyn!