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Tulsa 2010 Player to Watch, Day 4: Trae Johnson

Tulsa Players to Watch Tulsa Players to Watch

Originally Published: Feb 18, 2010 4:54 PM CDT

Also on Oklahoma Sports:
-OU Player to Watch, Day 4: Jonathan Nelson
-OSU Player to Watch, Day 4: Wilson Youman


Andrew Topps
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

WR Trae Johnson

Background:

Johnson has started the previous two seasons and lettered in three. He had a 1000 yard receiving season his freshman year to go along with 13 touchdowns and was named as a Freshman All-American by a couple of publications.

Why he’s on the List:

He had a fabulous first year but has yet to even come close to duplicating that success. Johnson finished 2007 with 1088 receiving yards but has only amassed a little more than half that in the previous two seasons combined.

Best-case scenario:

His stats have been hurt by the emergence of Damaris Johnson but he is still a viable second option. Trae lead the Golden Hurricane with eight touchdown receptions in 2009. However, he finished fourth on the team in receiving yards and fifth in receptions. He could cement his status as the Hurricane’s No. 2 receiver by boosting his pass-catching production.

Worst-case scenario:

Two running backs had more catches and one finished with more receiving yards than Johnson in 2008. Check-downs should be the last option but if a quarterback is continually hit routes out of the backfield, that means he is getting a lot of pressure or does not trust his second option. If it is the latter, then Johnson has a ways to go to repair his relationship with the Hurricane signal-caller. If Johnson cannot get open or the quarterback is not looking in his direction then his stats will take a further hit.

My take:

Tulsa wants to get back into the upper echelon of offenses, but to do so there needs to be a wide receiver that is a second option in the passing game, not a running back. With Slick Shelley’s graduation, Johnson has a chance to be that viable play-maker on the other side. It is his senior year and he has all the tricks to do so, it is just a matter of him putting it together.

Other Tulsa players to watch (click the names below to read the full stories)
Day 1: QB G.J. Kinne
Day 2: WR/KR Damaris Johnson
Day 3: LB Tanner Antle

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