Potential Early Departures: Defense

Tag: Quinten Johnson


16Dec 2022
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Potential Early Departures: Defense

Quinten Johnson (image via MGoBlue)

With the onslaught of transfer portal entries in college football, it’s inevitable that Michigan will face some more departures this off-season. Four players have already announced their intentions to transfer, and two (Cade McNamara and Erick All to Iowa) have already found a landing spot. Quarterback Alan Bowman and tight end Louis Hansen are both headed for, ahem, greener pastures.

McNamara and All are both somewhat unique cases of players who played a lot but felt slighted in some way, but Bowman and Hansen are more typical cases of players buried on the depth chart who want to see some light at the end of the tunnel. This post explores several players in similar situations who may find better situations elsewhere.

You can find the version for the offensive side of the ball here (LINK).

DISCLAIMER: This post is speculative in nature and not intended to encourage/discourage any player from leaving Michigan’s program. The reality is that college football is now a lot like unrestricted free agency from year to year.

LB JOEY VELAZQUEZ
Why he should stay: Velazquez is a solid two-sport athlete who’s having a decent impact on the baseball field with Michigan’s baseball team. His playing time on the field has increased yearly from one game in 2020 to seven games in 2021 to eleven games so far in the 2022 season. He is a steady contributor on special teams and has made a career-high 6 tackles.
Why he might leave: Playing time has been difficult to find on defense, and he has never risen above third string on defense. He was immediately passed by freshman Jimmy Rolder this fall, and the commitment of Ernest Hausmann probably does not bode well for the staff’s faith in Velazquez contributing on defense in 2023. Velazquez only has one season of eligibility remaining, and he may want to go somewhere he can compete for a starting job, which is extremely unlikely in Ann Arbor.

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20Jul 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #56 Quinten Johnson

Quinten Johnson (image via MGoBlue)

Name: Quinten Johnson
Height:
5’11”
Weight:
200 lbs.
High school:
Washington (DC) St. John’s
Position:
Safety
Class:
Redshirt junior
Jersey number:
#14
Last year:
I ranked Johnson #57 and said he would be a backup safety and special teamer (LINK). He made 3 tackles.
TTB Rating:
79

Johnson had a tough road to hoe for playing time in 2021. Behind starters Daxton Hill and Brad Hawkins, he was clawing for playing time with the likes of R.J. Moten, Makari Paige, and others. Eventually, true freshman Rod Moore moved into the starting lineup, too, and Johnson was still mostly playing special teams.

The year 2022 provides a big opportunity. Gone are Hill and Hawkins, meaning another safety or two need to step into starting roles. I feel very confident that Johnson will not be a starter, but if those new starters are Moore and Moten – which I expect – then Johnson could be alongside Paige to be the next guy in. He will need to fend off a good group of incoming freshman defensive backs, as well as walk-on Caden Kolesar. I think Johnson’s biggest contributions will continue to be on special teams, and if Johnson intends to earn a starting role, he may need to finish his career elsewhere in 2023 and/or 2024.

Prediction: Backup safety, special teamer

18Jul 2021
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2021 Season Countdown: #57 Quinten Johnson

Quinten Johnson

Name: Quinten Johnson
Height:
5’11”
Weight:
200 lbs.
High school:
Washington (DC) St. John’s
Position:
Safety
Class:
Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number:
#14
Last year:
I ranked Johnson #52 and said he would be a backup safety (LINK). He played in two games on special teams.
TTB Rating:
79

Johnson is a player who has had a fair amount of adversity in his career, especially for someone who has only played in two games for his career. He suffered a knee injury as a freshman, causing him to miss the entire year. Brought in to be a Viper in Don Brown’s defense, he bounced back and forth between Viper and safety. And now with an entirely new defensive staff that doesn’t employ a Viper-type player, he has to re-invent himself as a safety only.

The outlook for 2021 doesn’t look great for Johnson, although the transfer of frequently used backup Hunter Reynolds (Utah State) does open up a small window. Daxton Hill and Brad Hawkins return as starters at safety, but the primary backup in 2020 was Makari Paige, who also returns. Add in Sammy Faustin, Jalen Perry, R.J. Moten, Jordan Morant, and others, and there’s a lot of competition to get on the field. Johnson will have a tough time getting on the field on defense, but I do believe he has the skill set to be used on special teams a fair amount.

Prediction: Backup safety, special teamer

24Jul 2020
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2020 Season Countdown: #52 Quinten Johnson

Quinten Johnson (image via MGoBlue)

Name: Quinten Johnson
Height: 
5’10”
Weight: 
198 lbs.
High school: 
Washington (DC) St. John’s
Position: 
Safety
Class: 
Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: 
#23
Last year: 
I ranked Johnson #68 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He redshirted.
TTB Rating:
 79

Johnson suffered an unfortunate knee injury in 2019, which cut off any arguments about whether he would see time in the defensive backfield.

The debate about his position can continue, though. His listed weight of 198 pounds is still light for Viper, but there were questions about whether he would stick at safety or end up playing the hybrid outside linebacker/safety position. I think he will play safety, and he’s listed as a defensive back. Senior Brad Hawkins and sophomore Daxton Hill are entrenched as the starting safeties, so Johnson has a chance to work in with the second unit so he could potentially take over Hawkins’s job in 2021. I think some of the older players will maintain their leg up, especially since Johnson didn’t have much of a chance to develop in 2019, but we should at least see him on some special teams this year.

Prediction: Backup safety, special teamer

15Aug 2019
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Final TTB Ratings for 2019

Daxton Hill

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I know it’s a little bit late in the game, but back in the spring, I didn’t have time to review all the senior film for Michigan’s 2019 signees and give them updated TTB Ratings. I did that during the 2019 Season Countdown, so here are the final TTB Ratings for the class of 2019.

S Daxton Hill: 100
He’s the best safety in the class, though it’s an unimpressive safety class overall.

RB Zach Charbonnet: 83 90
As long as he can get/stay healthy, Charbonnet has the potential to be a high draft pick in the future.

DT Chris Hinton, Jr.: 90
He should be an early contributor with high long-term upside.

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