Football season will be here before you know it. Through the dog days of summer, we’re going to get you prepared with a series on some of the best players Texas will face in 2018.
Who is he?
The two most proven players on the Texas Tech roster play on defense. Hard to believe, isn’t it? That’s not to say the Red Raiders will suddenly turn into a defensive juggernaut, but opponents had better beware of where safety Jah’Shawn Johnson is on every play.
Thanks to a medical waiver, Johnson will be in his fifth season at Texas Tech this fall, and his fourth as a regular starter. He has 257 total tackles in his career, to go along with five interceptions, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. In 2017, he had a career-high 65 solo stops.
What should the Longhorns watch for?
Playing safety at Texas Tech is a busy role. Johnson has played on some of the worst statistical defenses in modern college football, yet he’s managed to build a profile as one of the nation’s premier safeties and a potential NFL prospect.
While the Red Raiders should continue to improve on defense in 2018, Johnson will still be expected to do a lot. He’s a master in open-field tackles, and can cover a wide area in pass protection. He’s also a nuisance to ball carriers, with a penchant for poking at the ball as he brings them down. Texas running back Kyle Porter was a victim in 2016.
Johnson has a total of 23 tackles (20 solo), a pass defended and the 2016 forced fumble in three meetings with the Longhorns. His best performance came in that 2016 classic in Lubbock, when he had 11 total tackles but D’Onta Foreman ran for 341 yards.
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