Slimm's 2014 Underclassman
This is a thread for future reference in terms of 2014 where I'll be posting some underclassman that I've scouted. It's early, but I was bored with the 2013 class a while back subsequent of the feeling that I pretty much had it figured out by December.
First up is Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson:
We recruited this kid heavily to Alabama, (Kirby Smart) but lost him as a Junior when he committed to Tennessee. Earned several Freshman All-American honors during his first season on campus in 2011. In 2012, not only did he lead the SEC in tackles as a sophomore with 138 total stops, he also led the Vols defense in TFL's and QB hurries. But that's not all...
He also led Tennessee's offense in rushing TD's, scoring 6 TD's on the ground as the triggerman in Tennessee's Wildcat package. This kid is a fabulous pure athlete with explosive movement skills, to go with outstanding range and instincts at the linebacker position. Probably the best linebacker I've seen in Knoxville since Al Wilson.
Johnson is just scratching the surface of his potential as a top notch defender in the SEC, as he was still in the process of learning a new defense as the Vols attempted to make the transition to an odd front last year under Sal Sunseri... who called him the best linebacker he's ever coached. That's a strong compliment coming from a guy who coached linebackers at Alabama under Saban.