A recurring series where we will profile every player and coach on Maryland’s roster, counting down to kick-off against Miami. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we profile a player who moved from linebacker to defensive end after his redshirt season.
Bradley Johnson, Sophomore (RS), Defensive End
Ratings: Three stars, #21 in Virginia, #22 outside linebacker by Rivals; two stars, #56 weakside linebacker by Scout; three stars, #119 outside linebacker by ESPN, #53 defensive end in 2014 draft class by NFLDraftScout
40-yard dash time: 4.7
High School Stats (senior season): 124 tackles, five for a loss, five pass breakups, four interceptions, two fumble recoveries
High School Stats (junior season): 113 tackles, six pass breakups, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries
College Stats (through one year): 14 tackles (five solo), 0.5 for a loss, one pass breakup
High School: Dinwiddie High School (Dinwiddie, Va.)
How’d He Get To College Park?
Johnson was one of the top outside linebackers in the country coming out of high school, and came to Maryland due a strong relationship with the coaches, especially Ralph Friedgen (sorry bud) and Tom Brattan (one of two coaches who stayed with the new staff). His specialty was rushing the passer around the edge, a skill that he brought with him when the coaches decided to convert him to a defensive end following his first year on campus.
Johnson was a highly productive player in high school, posting more than 100 tackles in each of his last two years at Dinwiddie. He helped lead the Generals to a second place finish in Virginia AAA Division 5, and chose Maryland over Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and South Carolina.
Last season, he was an intriguing option for Maryland off the bench, and even started one game (although defensive starts didn’t really mean much in Don Brown’s system, it just depended on which of his many formations he started with). He recorded 14 tackles but showed that he was a force off the edge, as his speed was showcased throughout the year. He is the prototypical Don Brown lineman – strong enough to play on the line, but his main asset is his outside linebacker speed.
More after the jump.
Bradley “B-Rad” Johnson
Starting the one game last year.
Not recording a sack last year.
Arbitrary Top Five List:
Cast in Malibu’s Most Wanted:
1. Jamie Kennedy as B-Rad
2. Taye Diggs
3. Anthony Anderson
4. Regina Hall
5. Jeffrey Tambor
Johnson steals the starting defensive end job from Clarence Murphy and records at least four sacks.
Johnson remains a back-up the entire year, seeing limited playing time on a stacked defensive line.
Bradley Johnson enters the fall as the #2 defensive end on Maryland depth chart, behind redshirt freshman and surprise starter Clarence Murphy. Johnson is the lightest player on the defensive line, but he’s also one of the quickest. It will be interesting to see how new defensive coordinator Todd Bradford uses him, and honestly I’m very surprised he hasn’t been moved to Will to add some needed depth to the depleted linebacking corps.
Johnson has a good chance at playing a lot this year, although I’m not sure how much more playing time than the amount he got last year is a reasonable expectation. Johnson was one of the first defensive linemen off the bench – which is exactly what he’ll be this year, but he was passed by a freshman for the starting spot in the mean time. Murphy has no experience playing at the college level yet, so that speaks to how well he played in spring practice, and we’ll just have to play wait and see to find out if the coaches have made the right choice. For now, Johnson is probably the second option off the bench at defensive end.
Our next player is the first option off the bench at defensive end.