The countdown to kickoff is on. Over the 100 days before Texas takes on Maryland, we’re counting down the 100 best players the Longhorns will face in 2017. This series is all about impressing your friends at pregame tailgates and watch parties, so grab a notepad and buckle up.
Who is he?
While Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan dominated 2016 headlines in the Big Ten, a historically productive season by Maryland running back Ty Johnson flew completely under the radar. His numbers (1,004 rushing yards, 6 TDs) may not jump off the page at first, but look again. Johnson averaged 9.1 yards per carry, an average that would have led the nation if he’d received the required 10 carries per game. He surpassed 100 yards five times, including a career-high 204 yards against Purdue — on seven carries!
What should the Longhorns watch for?
D.J. Durkin has turned the Terrapins into a running machine, and Johnson is the centerpiece. Four of Maryland’s top five rushers averaged at least 5.9 yards per carry, though, which shows the dominance of the offensive line, led by center and Austin native Brendan Moore. Johnson isn’t just a runner, either. He hauled 16 passes for 206 yards, including a few difficult catches you can watch below.
Feeding the Turtles
When Johnson isn’t getting fed carries, he’s cooking for his teammates. In a profile written by Dan Markus of the Baltimore Sun, Johnson talks about his love for cooking as well as his rise on the gridiron.
Catch up on the series
No. 59: Brian Peavy
No. 58: Chris Hawkins
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