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Thread: Some info on Storm Johnson, Running Back from UCF

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    JC's Avatar
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    Some info on Storm Johnson, Running Back from UCF

    For those who don't know, I was a UCF football beat writer this past year and got a chance to watch every one of UCF's games, as well as talk to players and coaches about football related things.

    Some view Storm Johnson as a sleeper pick, while others have him ranked very low. I'm here to tell you that he very well could be one of the most talented backs in this draft.

    However, my big issue with him, which isn't widely reported, is his off-field issues that forced him to transfer from UM to UCF. I'm not buddy-buddy with Johnson, and I've really only talked to him a handful of times. But what I do know is that Johnson's family wanted him to transfer to UCF because they felt he would stay out of trouble with a coach like George O'Leary looking after him and setting up rules and guidelines for the team.

    As we all know, the NFL is not college football, and in many cases, players do whatever they want, sometimes leading to poor situations like arrests or being out of shape. I am not saying Storm Johnson is going to be a criminal. I'll repeat that again so it's clear. I am NOT saying he is going to get into trouble or anything like that. Johnson, when interviewed, was very select in what he would say, and it was very generic. In a lot of cases, it would be very difficult to get him to open up at all. He presented himself very low key, trying not to put himself in the spotlight and giving his teammates the credit.

    The South Florida connection is there. I think he's an incredibly talented running back who has elusiveness that is second to none. But I have concerns about Johnson being mature enough to thrive in an NFL setting, due to the circumstances that led him from UM to UCF.

    For all I know, he could be a completely different person than he was two years ago. I just wanted to put some information out there for those who have any interest in him as a prospect.

    As a player, he is incredibly fun to watch and he has some of the best elusiveness that I've seen in a running back.

    He's not overly powerful, but he's big enough to take hits. He's not the fastest guy, but he's fast enough to get around the edge. If you've seen him play, you know how good he is at not only avoiding contact, but getting through it. He was in a pro-style offense at UCF, with a coaching staff that has NFL experience. He was with coaches that were hell-bent on its players being all-around guys.

    Storm does not get a lot of publicity on his ability to catch passes out of the backfield, but there were quite a few times when he turned a short little dump off pass into an incredible play. Like mentioned before, UCF coaches would not put players in the game who couldn't block - that including running backs and receivers.

    Storm also performed very well against UCF's toughest opponents.

    At Penn State: 17 rushes, 117 yards. 6.9 ypc. Long of 58. One rushing TD and one receiving TD
    South Carolina: 16 rushes, 64 yards. 4.0 ypc. 4 receptions, 41 yards. One rushing TD
    At Louisville: 18 carries, 109 yards. 6.1 ypc. 4 receptions, 79 yards. One rushing TD, one receiving TD
    Houston: 28 carries, 127 yards. 4.5 ypc.
    Fiesta Bowl against Baylor: 20 carries, 124 yards. 6.2 YPC. Three rushing TD's.

    He's a guy that's going to consistently get the chunk yardage plays and when needed, he'll bail you out with some YAC or by making a gazillion people miss.

    His vision is spectacular. He had a tendency early on to want to break off a big run every time, and wouldn't follow blockers or run through his holes. He's been coached up on taking what the defense gives instead of trying to bust a home run every time. Every now and then he'll get happy feet trying to find the home run, but for the most part, he's been great at following blockers. He'll make some cuts across the field in lanes you didn't even know existed. It's almost scary sometimes how he finds the lanes he does.
    He also has a knack for finding the endzone. He knows where the goal line is and when he's near it, he finds a way to get into the endzone.

    The only negative thing about Johnson's game is his fumbling habit. There were several times this year when he was put on the bench for recklessly handling the ball in traffic. It's something he was constantly coached on, and something he'll still need some work on going into the future.

    I'm still not sure if I'd want him on Miami, due to my concerns about his maturity and him making dumb decisions off the field when nobody's there to hold him back.

    Otherwise, he is one of the most talented backs in this draft without a doubt in my mind.

    Here's Johnson vs. Penn State: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbdkDtq854s
    Here's his highlight from the first four games of the season: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsZjjZCUy4M
    Here's the YAC I was talking about: http://youtu.be/0SvEwbja8jU?t=50s
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    dolfan91's Avatar
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    Storm Johnson is also good to above average at picking up the blitz and blocking out of the backfield. This is what I like most about him. He is a favorite of mine in this draft.
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    Fin Thirteen's Avatar
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    I don't like the careless way he holds the ball, it's the reason for a lot of his fumbles, if you ask me.

    I think he excels at pushing the pile for the extra yard or two in contact and he gets around the corner very well to break the big runs. He's a nice receiving option and I confess I haven't seen much of his blocking to comment. I'm not so convinced about his ability to pick and knife through those small NFL gaps between the tackles. Given I'm not convinced about either Miller or Thomas or Gillislee's ability to do that either, I'm desperate for us to pick up a tough, compact RB for a 1-cut offense who has the vision, power and leg speed/drive to get the tough inside yards. I really like Kadeem Carey for our offense, and there are a few others who interest me. I feel with Johnson, we'd get a 20% tougher Daniel Thomas.

    We're not picking any divas or troublemakers either. I just don't see us having the mindspace in the staff for reclamation projects, after all we've been through.

    There are some guys in the draft I would love to steal off 31 other teams because they were afraid of perceived character flaws. In my book, Storm isn't one of those guys.
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    Another Positive--- He has a great Football name
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    I like Johnson, and in terms of on-the-field performance I think he is what Miami is looking for. Judging by who they've talked to so far I believe our FO is looking for a complete back with decent vision (check) and power (mostly check) to their game, so I'm looking at Miami to go after Carey, Mason, or Sankey/Seastrunk in rounds 2-3, release DT, and keep Miller as the change-of-pace guy. That's just how I'm reading into it so far.
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    fininpsl's Avatar
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    Johnson is a good football player. It stung when he left UM. He's a little flaky, but has he gotten into any substantial trouble off the field? I hadn't heard of anything specific. On the field the kid is a very good football player. Would upgrade our backfield and it looks like he can be had later in the draft.
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    The first time he touched the ball at the U I think he when 70 yards for a score. I was pissed when he transferred. Great name.
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    1972 Dolphins Logo
    He's an intriguing middle rounder.

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    Draft: 1. LB Ryan Shazier 2. OL Joel Bitonio 3. WR Donte Moncrief 4. OL Brandon Thomas 5. OT Laurent Duvernay Tardif 6. RB Bo Oliver 7. TBD

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    Another big time Miami Hurricane recruit who fizzled out, left The U, went elsewhere, received better coaching and did well in his college career.

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    JC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCane View Post
    Another big time Miami Hurricane recruit who fizzled out, left The U, went elsewhere, received better coaching and did well in his college career.
    I don't know about better coaching, but certainly a more disciplined approach at UCF. He'll need that same approach in the pros for him to thrive, IMO. If he's got a mentor/coaches that go out of their way to make sure he's doing the right thing, he'll do fine.

    I wish there were more videos on youtube of him, because he has does a lot of great things during a game.
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