Dig Baton Rouge

Tyron Johnson’s Next Step

By Trey Mongrue
@TreyMongrue

Tyron Johnson’s 2014 season and high school career did not have the storybook ending that he had envisioned.

Johnson and Warren Easton High School fell just short of a LHSAA 4A State Championship last Saturday, falling 28-27 to Neville High School last Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

“That chapter of my life is over,” the senior wide receiver said afterwards. “I chose to play this sport, and I have to take everything that comes with it. It hasn’t really hit me yet [that my high school career is over].”

But while he didn’t get the championship ring, Johnson showed why many believe that he is the player that top colleges covet most in Louisiana’s 2015 senior class.

He never made it in the end zone, but Johnson still led all receivers on Saturday with 11 catches for 95 yards, despite Neville’s stout defensive line threatening Warren Easton quarterback Deshawn Capers-Smith for much of the night.

There were two plays in particular that showed exactly why Johnson is considered the best player in the state. The first came in the second quarter when he caught a screen pass and added extra yards by hurdling Neville safety Anterrius Butler and continued running up field.

After that feat of athleticism, Johnson then showed off his sure hands and concentration in the third quarter when he corralled in a 25-yard pass down while tip-toeing down sideline with two Neville defenders just inches away from getting their hands on the ball.

All of this was done with the studying eyes of many college coaches on him.

“There’s not any pressure on me,” said Johnson who is considered the second best high school receiver in the country according to 247 Sports’ composite rankings.

“I have got to be ready for everything.”

With high school football behind him, Johnson’s focuses have now shifted over to choosing a college. Following the loss, he announced that LSU, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are his final three – all of which had representation in New Orleans on Saturday.

However, he has not fully eliminated Auburn or Georgia as potential destinations either.

“It’s like big business now,” Johnson said of his recruiting. “I have to really focus on my future, cool down and make a great decision.”

Johnson is set to play in the Under Armor High School All-American Game on Jan. 2 in St. Petersburg, Fla. His plan is to announce his commitment then, but regardless of the decision, that won’t stop him from making a trip to Oklahoma State on Jan. 23 and to LSU on the following week.

“They want me to come in and make an impact,” Johnson said of why he chose the top three schools on his list. “I think at any of those three schools that I could be a fantastic college player.”

In addition to be the school in his home state, one thing that excites Johnson about LSU was the way the Tigers relied on the jet sweep wide receiver reverse in their 23-17 win at Texas A&M. It’s a play that Johnson has been called on to run many times with Warren Easton and something he has envisioned himself doing at LSU, if that is where he chooses to go.

“That was nice,” he recalled of the Tigers’ win over the Aggies. “LSU doesn’t really have the personnel at receiver right now to run jet sweeps. [Watching that game] I wondered what I would do if I was there.”

With National Signing Day less than two months away, there are many college football fans that are wondering what Johnson will be able to do at the next level. Come 2015, some school will find out soon enough.

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