2020 Season Countdown: #87 George Johnson III

2020 Season Countdown: #87 George Johnson III


June 12, 2020
George Johnson III (image via MGoBlue)

Name: George Johnson III
Height:
6’0″
Weight:
193 lbs.
High school:
Stuart (FL) Martin
Position:
Cornerback
Class:
Redshirt freshman
Jersey number:
#22
Last year:
I ranked Johnson #94 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He redshirted.
TTB Rating:
58

Johnson had a pretty quiet first year in Ann Arbor, which was fully expected. A high school quarterback, he spent the 2019 season transitioning to wide receiver. He earned Offensive Scout Team Player of the Week for the Illinois game, but otherwise, things were pretty quiet.

Now Johnson has reportedly moved to cornerback, his third position in three years. Michigan does not have a lot of depth at cornerback, but I would expect Johnson to be at or near the bottom of the depth chart. He didn’t even have spring ball to help get acclimated to the position, so players he might have surged past are probably still watching him in the rearview mirror. I expect this season to be another year of mostly standing on the sideline.

Prediction: Backup cornerback

19 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1855
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Jun 12, 2020 at 10:59 AM

    While I agree with taking athletes, it seems all too often we get a tweener who is athletic, but not at a “Play Me’ level. Instead, they bounce around positions for a few years, never mastering any

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3616
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jun 12, 2020 at 1:58 PM

      I generally think if you’re still bouncing between positions in year two, things are iffy. If it’s year three or later, things are not trending positively for a kid’s career. (For example, Michael Barrett bouncing back and forth between RB/LB as a freshman was fine. Phillip Paea going back and forth between OG/DT as a redshirt sophomore does not bode well.)

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5906
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jun 12, 2020 at 2:17 PM

        Chase Winovich played LB and TE the first two seasons before moving to DE.

        Jordan Glasgow spent his junior year at safety, senior year at viper, and 5th year at ILB.
        https://touch-the-banner.com/2018-season-countdown-51-jordan-glasgow/

        Jeremy Clark moved from safety to corner his senior year.
        http://touchthebanner.blogspot.com/2015/07/2015-season-countdown-47-jeremy-clark.html

        All of the above were drafted in the last few years.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3616
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jun 12, 2020 at 2:38 PM

          Position switchers who did not do so hot: Jaylen Kelly-Powell, Reuben Jones, Ron Johnson, Wyatt Shallman, Ross Douglas, Lawrence Marshall, Jared Wangler, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Tom Strobel, William Campbell, Allen Gant, Keith Heitzman…

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5906
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jun 12, 2020 at 4:01 PM

            A failing player is more likely to change positions but a player changing positions isn’t more likely to fail.

            • Thunder
              Comments: 3616
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Jun 12, 2020 at 4:10 PM

              A position switch is a symptom of not succeeding yet. That doesn’t mean position switchers are doomed to fail, and nobody claimed that.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 5906
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Jun 12, 2020 at 6:22 PM

              I think there’s limited truth to that if you aren’t paying attention. Since we are, we have other information. We already know “the trend”. The player not succeeding is what is symptomatic of not succeeding. You already know if a rising junior or senior has done anything or not. You watched the games and read the insider or practice reports and heard the coaches talk about them.

              You already knew that Teric Jones or Reuben Jones were non-contributors buried deep on a depth chart and getting passed by younger players. They are grasping for a second chance. In RJS’ case it worked out, in JKPs it didn’t. The move itself didn’t tell you anything new about if they are failing or not.

              Just like it didn’t when Denard got hurt, Devin filled a need at WR, Cole shuffled between tackle and center, Peppers jumped between DB positions, Glasgow got his shot at ILB, or Chase grew into a viable edge player.

              Maybe there is a small handful of times where you read about a position-switch and thought “well I guess that guy just doesn’t have it, I’m surprised by that” but usually you already knew it. With most position-changes you are for more likely to think to yourself “well that makes sense given what we know” about roster, injury, growth, ability, etc.

              • Thunder
                Comments: 3616
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Jun 12, 2020 at 7:41 PM

                In a way, there are two kinds of position changes. There are the Devin Gardners, Denard Robinsons, and Jabrill Pepperses of the world who are going to be successful regardless of what position they play because they’re dynamic. Those guys were all highly sought after recruits who could run real fast, and two of them could throw the ball somewhat effectively.

                Yes, if Ben Mason is switching positions, it does not mean great things for his career. He was a fine fullback, but does he have an NFL future at FB, TE, DT, DE, or LB? We’ll see, but he’s certainly no kind of college star.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 5906
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jun 15, 2020 at 12:49 PM

                  Mason and Gardner are similar in that they ‘switched’ positions their junior year to fill a team need while maintaining their limited role at their ‘home’ position.

                  The big difference is that Gardner had a home position to go back to while Mason’s seems to be getting phased out.

                  The NFL is a different topic but Mason’s pro career may not be much different from Gardner’s.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 5906
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jun 15, 2020 at 12:51 PM

                  Neither stood out at their new position, despite starting. It’s impressive they could do it anyway.

                  Neither is remotely a failed player IMO. These are tough kids who put the team interests before their own.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3616
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Jun 16, 2020 at 9:08 AM

                  I don’t remember referring to anyone here as a failed player/failure.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1855
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Jun 12, 2020 at 11:16 PM

                My God, comparing Mason Cole and Jabrill Peppers with a guy who played QB in high school, WR as a RS, and flipped to Corner – without doing all … that’s a leap of Lank proportions!

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 5906
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jun 15, 2020 at 1:25 PM

                  I suspect George Johnson IS Mason Cole, suited up in an elaborate disguise.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5906
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jun 12, 2020 at 2:17 PM

      Most of the best pass rushers Michigan has had have been tweeners of some sort. From undersized NTs (Hurst), oversized WDE (Charlton), or LBs who end up with their hand on the ground (Clark, Uche and Winovich).

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1855
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Jun 12, 2020 at 3:32 PM

        Switching on the same side of the ball might signal versatility. Switching between O & D might signal uncertainty

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5906
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jun 12, 2020 at 4:14 PM

          Or greatness in the case of Woodson and Peppers.

          Or maybe just really goodness – Mike Onwenu was a 3 year starter, all-conference player, and NFL draft pick on offense yet people on here insist he would be far better on the other side of the ball and wanted him to move through his senior season.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1855
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Jun 12, 2020 at 11:17 PM

            Woodson & Peppers played BOTH sides, but specialized on one side of the ball, and were drafted there

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3616
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jun 12, 2020 at 4:15 PM

          Guys switch sides of the ball for a reason. If you’re moving from S to LB, the coaches might be trying to get their best 11 on the field. If you move from OL to DL or from WR to CB, you pretty much weren’t hacking it where you were. William Campbell, James Rogers, Quinton Washington – heck, even Drake Harris was practicing at CB at one point – all didn’t do much. Campbell made it to the NFL, but he was a far cry from a 5-star producer.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5906
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jun 12, 2020 at 6:27 PM

            Guys switch positions for a reason, regardless of sides of the ball. It’s not necessarily indicative of failure.

            Ben Mason was a good FB.

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