Anthony Johnson had been committed since February 17 so it was merely a formality for him to make it official Wednesday. Signing the 4-star prospect from Philadelphia may turn out to be the best addition to the 2022 recruiting class for Greg Schiano and the coaching staff.
247 Sports Composite Ranking: 4-star; 8th in PA; 24th LB & 231st nationally
High School Position: LB (6’1”, 230 lbs.)
Projected college position: Middle Linebacker
High School: Neumann Goretti
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Most notable other offers: Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Penn State
A Tyronne Stowe comparison, the best linebacker ever to play for Rutgers, does not come around often but Johnson has that kind of NFL potential. Naturally it was Fran Brown who got the job done to secure Anthony’s services over the likes of Superpowers Alabama, Oregon, and even Ohio State. Johnson patrols the entire middle of the field, able to take on and shed blocks quickly then explode to halt ball carriers in their tracks. He’s a big guy that has the athleticism to play linebacker, though could end up a dangerous pass rusher even if he outgrows the second level of the defense. Some reports indicate he needs to add size, but that doesn’t seem true for a linebacker in modern day football as Anthony seems a legitimate 230 pounds at this point on film. Johnson has tremendous natural instincts to flow with the play, keeping his center of gravity low and wrap up on his tackles without selling out for big hits. This is as good as it gets in recruiting a linebacker even if his coverage skills have an incomplete grade at this point.
The Rutgers Linebackers were good, though not one of the top units in the Big Ten as we hoped due to some injuries, trouble in coverage at times, and a lack of the big plays we saw so often in 2020. They will lose at least Tyshon Fogg, Olakunle Fatukasi, and Tyreek Maddox-Williams, all multi-year starters so a true freshman could enter the two-deep. Coach Bob Fraser had tremendous success developing linebackers year in and year out during his first run on the banks and has some good ones to work with in this class.
Floor: Quintero Frierson
Most likely: Tyshon Fogg
Potential: Tyronne Stowe
Check out his highlights below:
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