Receiver Tyquan Johnson ready to help Gamecocks football
The question was posed to South Carolina football signee Tyquan Johnson, and the answer he delivered is what most players wrapping up their senior year of high school tend to say.
Does he, a 6-foot-3 dynamic playmaker who lived life in a power-running offense, expect to be an impact guy with the Gamecocks quickly, or perhaps take a little time to develop?
“I see myself going in and competing,” Johnson said.
The Screven County High School star is going to a team that has played almost every receiver it recruited the past two years some as a true freshman. That means the group on campus is led by an experienced, deep set of veterans. (Deebo Samuel, Bryan Edwards, Shi Smith and OrTre Smith have all seen serious time as starters.)
One thing that could help Johnson: his size.
“He was probably close to 210 (pounds) going into the season, 205 maybe,” Screven County coach Ron Duncan said. “We took him out of weights this year so we could help him get another core class potentially if he needed it. So he’s probably lost a bit of it.
“He could be a 230-pound receiver, outside guy. He’s got plenty of room to put on a bunch of weight. He’s very strong in the weight room. And then he’s one of our top lifters.”
Johnson is a wide receiver who can power clean and bench 300 pounds with a good squat max as well.
Duncan estimated Johnson might be down to 190 pounds or so. Early in the recruiting process he was around 180. The coach described him as “wiry strong,” raw, with a high ceiling.
As a high school senior, he caught 32 passes for 661 yards and 10 scores. Nearly two in five of his 94 career high school catches went for touchdowns.
College will be a different beast, but he said he relished receiving the nutrition and workout instructions USC’s support staff gave him for his last semester in high school.
“It was exciting,” Johnson said. “It was a memory when I opened the book up and started reading and got through the pages. It was an exciting moment.”
He admitted second semester of senior year was a challenge, balancing grades and staying in shape. A three-star prospect, Johnson is one of a few 2018 signees who have not enrolled yet at USC.
Duncan said he expects Johnson’s best years will come after more development. He has skills such as beating press coverage, a quick first step and being a vertical threat. He’s got raw measurables, like one of the fastest 100-meter dash times in Georga as a junior (10.75 seconds), or leaping ability (6 feet, 2 inches).
Even if he lost a little weight the past year, it shouldn’t hold him back.
“Talking to coach [Bryan] McClendon and those guys at Carolina, they were like, don’t worry about it,” Duncan said. “When we get our hands on him, we’ll get him where he needs to be.”