Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic DE Shelton Johnson announced a commitment to Michigan over fellow finalists Florida State and Miami in a ceremony at his school this afternoon. Johnson becomes the 13th commit in the 2015 class and fills a major need at defensive end. He joins Karan Higdon and Keith Washington among NSD commits for the Wolverines.
4*, #27 DE,
|3*, #37 WDE||3*, 79, #36 DE||4*, 91, #16 SDE||
3*, #20 SDE,
There's a split in Johnson's rankings—Scout and 247 both have him in the top-300 area, while Rivals and ESPN place him in the nondescript three-star category. All four sites list him at 6'5" and 220-225 pounds.
Scout's Jamie Newberg named Johnson the #4 defensive lineman in Florida—in a stacked class—heading into his senior season:
Johnson is not as highly touted as the others above here but this kid has a ton of talent. He looks terrific on film. Johnson can put his hand in the dirt or stand up. He can also slide inside. He has versatility and athleticism. Johnson gets off the ball well and can use his hands to shed blocks. He shows speed and lateral quickness.
ESPN likes his frame, though they point out he needs to weight and strength, and say that he's a good physical prospect in need of some refining ($):
Flashes ability to fire out and uncoil, but needs to continue add size to help him maintain and hold ground. Flashes active, violent hands, but needs to continue to develop hand usage. Displays enough range to be factor in backside pursuit.
Good burst and length can be assets in his development. Long and little straight line, but flashes ability to do decent job of dipping inside shoulder and turning the corner. Needs to learn to better utilize hands and reach. Flashes some ability to transfer speed-to-power and knock blockers back at times.
They add that he plays "with a physical and at times violent nature."
There's surprisingly little else out there on him. Johnson earned his FSU offer after an impressive camp performance last summer (video below) and got a late bump into the four-star range on 247 after his senior season.
Johnson held offers from Florida State, FAU, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami (YTM), Minnesota, Mississippi State, NC State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. He had interest, but no offer, from Florida, LSU, and Georgia.
Atlantic has produced a couple of very successful four-star prospects in 2009 CB Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech, now on the New York Giants) and 2006 OL Orlando Franklin (Miami, now on the Denver Broncos). There's also a Big Ten connection: Minnesota RB Donnell Kirkwood was a 2010 three-star.
Johnson's stats weren't readily available and are impossible to Google thanks to the existence of an NFL player of the same name.
FAKE 40 TIME
Partial senior highlights:
This performance at FSU's camp last summer earned him an offer from the Noles:
Junior highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
There's not a ton to go on here, but Johnson is clearly in need of some seasoning before he's ready to see the field. Even with Michigan's thin depth chart, he should take a redshirt year unless he looks ready to contribute at the hybrid WDE/OLB position as a situational pass-rusher. For Michigan's purposes, it'd be ideal if he's able to bulk up and play SDE, which is quite plausible with his frame; that might take a year or two, however.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Johnson fills a significant need at DE. Michigan is now waiting on announcements from TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr. (any moment now) and CB Iman Marshall (4 pm). Wheatley is down to Michigan and UCLA, with the edge to the good guys, while Marshall is highly unlikely to end up in the class.