2016 Season Countdown: #63 Shelton Johnson

Tag: Shelton Johnson

9Jul 2016
Blog, homepage 14 comments

2016 Season Countdown: #63 Shelton Johnson

Reuben Jones (#4) and Shelton Johnson (image via Maize and Blue News)

Name: Shelton Johnson
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 212 lbs.
High school: Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic
Position: Defensive end
Class: Redshirt freshman
jersey number: #7
Last year: I ranked Johnson #65 and said he would be a backup defensive end (LINK). He redshirted.

Johnson is and has been a bit of a strange case so far. Last year he was listed at 225 lbs. coming out of high school, which is thin but not unheard of for a true freshman defensive end who’s in the process of filling out his body. This spring Johnson was listed at . . . 212 lbs. He either lost 13 lbs. of fat from his skinny body, or his weight was exaggerated as a recruit. (The latter is the most likely and why I rarely put much faith in listed weights in high school.)

I admit this ranking is based on high school film, not on anything I’ve seen or heard in the last several months. Johnson offers some speed and athleticism off the edge that most other guys on the roster don’t. He’s not in any danger of becoming a full-time player this year or even a primary backup, but he could be a situational guy since Don Brown likes to put in exotic blitzes with speed coming after the quarterback.

Prediction: Backup defensive end

29Feb 2016
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Spring Football Preview: Defensive Tackles and Defensive Ends

Bryan Mone 735x

Bryan Mone (#90)

Projected DT starters: Fifth-year senior Ryan Glasgow was one of Michigan’s best starting defenders last season, and you could tell how much the defense missed him when he missed the end of the season with a pectoral injury. He finished the season with 25 tackles, 5 TFLs, and 1 sack in nine games at the nose tackle position. He is very strong, fairly quick off the ball, and uses excellent technique. Last year’s backup nose tackle Maurice Hurst, Jr. was pressed into a lot of playing time at the nose because of injuries, but his size makes him more of a 3-technique in an ideal world. Assuming Glasgow and Bryan Mone return healthy at NT, redshirt junior Hurst (35 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, 3 sacks) should slide over to 3-tech and use his quickness there.

Hit the jump for the rest of the defensive line preview.

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26Jun 2015
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2015 Season Countdown: #65 Shelton Johnson

Shelton Johnson

Name: Shelton Johnson
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 225 lbs.
High school: Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic
Position: Defensive end
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Johnson was a senior in high school. He was a 247 Composite 3-star, the #20 strongside end, #365 overall, and #54 in Florida.
TTB Rating: 80

Johnson was a late pull out of Florida, a steal orchestrated by defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, who was the Florida defensive coordinator for the past couple seasons. Johnson was offered in the middle of January, immediately scheduled a visit, and then spurned the favorite (Florida State) to move up north. Michigan fans can’t be anything less than intrigued after watching Johnson’s high school film where he shows a good combination of size, speed, and aggression.

Michigan has some “defensive ends,” but what the teams lacks is edge rushers. The Wolverines lost their top two sack artists from last season, and the top returners are senior Mario Ojemudia and junior Taco Charlton, who had 3.5 sacks each. The only other returning defensive linemen to get to the quarterback were tackles. Redshirt freshman Lawrence Marshall and senior Royce Jenkins-Stone are going to get their shots to come off the edge, but Johnson has a chance to step into the rotation as a freshman and help out with the pass rush. He will be a little light (he recently said he’s up to 235 lbs.) but I think he can still be a situational player.

Prediction: Backup defensive end, situational pass rusher

11Feb 2015
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2015 Recruiting Grades: Defense, Special Teams

Tyree Kinnel

I posted the recruiting grades for the offensive side of the ball (LINK), so here are the grades for the defense. Rankings used are from the 247 Composite.

Lost from 2014: Brennen Beyer (graduation), Frank Clark (suspension/graduation)
Commits: Shelton Johnson, Reuben Jones
Grade: B+
Comments: Michigan didn’t land the highest value targets, and the two guys they brought in were last-minute fixes who don’t provide a huge speed rush that Michigan has been lacking in recent years. But Michigan does need numbers at the position, where the graduations of Beyer and Clark left the team with few viable replacements and a couple guys who perhaps should be playing defensive tackle instead of on the edge. Johnson (3-star, #20 SDE) has some high upside and Jones (3-star, #44 DE) has potential, too, so at least one of these guys should pay dividends sooner or later.

Lost from 2014:
Commits: None
Grade: C
Comments: Neither coaching staff deemed defensive tackle as a priority. Hoke only offered a handful of guys and actually backed off several targets last summer, and Harbaugh hardly made an attempt aside from offering defensive tackle Kendrick Norton, who never visited. Michigan is in a situation where they have a lot of guys in their middle years of football, but they will need to renew their efforts in 2016 to avoid a huge age gap.

Lost from 2014:
 Michael Ferns III (transfer), Jake Ryan (graduation)
Commits: None
Grade: D
Comments: Jake Ryan was a Butkus Award finalist and a stud at middle linebacker for Michigan last season, but the Wolverines should not miss him too awfully much with four senior linebackers scheduled to be on the roster in 2015 (Joe Bolden, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Desmond Morgan, James Ross). However, the only non-senior to have played much so far is junior Ben Gedeon, which means Michigan will be searching for answers in 2016. It would have been a good idea to land at least one guy to redshirt and adjust to the college game, because that guy could have been deployed in 2016. Assuming the five aforementioned guys suck up most of the playing time in 2015, the Wolverines will be very green in 2016.

Lost from 2014:
 Delonte Hollowell (graduation), Raymon Taylor (graduation)
Commits: Keith Washington
Grade: C-
Comments: Much like the running back position, Michigan had two highly touted guys committed at different junctures – Shaun Crawford (Notre Dame) and Garrett Taylor (Penn State) – and both of them slipped out of their grasp. Cornerback is a spot where guys can contribute early, but with Jabrill Peppers moving to safety, the Wolverines are very thin at the position. Washington (3-star, #77 ATH) was a high school quarterback who did not play a ton of defense, so he’s a project. If anyone higher in the pecking order gets hurt, the Wolverines could be in serious trouble, although Peppers has the ability to move back to corner if necessary.

Lost from 2014:
Commits: Tyree Kinnel
Grade: A-
Comments: I don’t see Kinnel (4-star, #11 S)as a huge playmaker in college, but he’s a good field general with some respectable athletic skills. The only safety scheduled to depart after 2015 is starter Jarrod Wilson, and most of the other safeties on the roster are good athletes without a great understanding for the game. So if new safeties coach Greg Jackson can coach those guys up, Michigan should be in very good shape here.

Lost from 2014:
 Will Hagerup (graduation), Matt Wile (graduation)
Commits: Andrew David
Grade: A
Comments: Punter is a position that can often be filled by walk-ons, which is likely what will happen in 2015 with Kenny Allen expected to take over the punting job. With no walk-on kickers daring to take the job, Michigan offered one guy and one guy only to be their placekicker, and they got him. David (3-star, #9 K) will be in a situation where he has a special teams coach in John Baxter, which should speed his development at least a little bit. Michigan got exactly whom they wanted.