Speed has been a high priority for Missouri in its recent wide receiver additions
Certain commitments make too much sense not to happen. Marquis Johnson, a legacy at Mizzou, is one of those commitments.
The 3-star wide receiver out of the Houston area announced his commitment to Mizzou earlier this week. Josh Matejka wrote about Johnson’s relationship to Mizzou, and part of what makes his commitment so unique.
Drinkwitz made a commitment to Mizzou legacy on Monday when he landed Marquis Johnson, the son of former Mizzou DB Domonique Johnson. In his time at Mizzou, Johnson the elder played an important role as a rotational back in the 2007 secondary. Being a part of that legendary team no doubt cemented his family’s commitment to Mizzou, so it’s no surprise to see his son become a True Son 15 years later.
If Johnson is known for anything, it’s his speed. It’s not just impressive for a football player. It’s up there among the fastest high school track athletes in the state of Texas.
How fast is new Mizzou WR commit Marquis Johnson? He ran a 10.37 in the 100 meters this spring. It was wind-aided, but he also posted three more times at 10.6 or faster.
Missouri Class 5 state record was set this year, 10.46
— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) June 13, 2022
Johnson certainly fits the theme of recent wide receiver additions. He and Demariyon Houston both fit the mold of typical slot wide receiver “gadget” players that Mizzou has used in the past. Its becoming clear Drinkwitz values that role in his offense.
Houston and Johnson technically play the same position as last year’s wide receiver recruits Luther Burden, Jamarion Wayne and Mekhi Miller, but they go about it in very different ways. Burden, Wayne and Miller win with size and length while Houston and Johnson are speed-first playmakers.
Where he fits: Johnson, much like Houston, fits best out of the slot as a player who wins with some of the “gadget” types of plays. Johnson’s film features a number of jet sweeps. The Tigers will find creative ways to get him the ball in space to utilize his speed. Johnson’s ideal role will likely be something similar to what we see this season out of Mookie Cooper.
When he’ll play: Johnson has some added value as a kickoff returner, and that could get him on the field sooner than later. Missouri will almost certainly have Nathaniel Peat as their primary returner in 2022, but Johnson could at least compete for that job as a true freshman in 2023.
As for when he’ll see the field on the offensive side of the ball, that really depends on health and the progress of Mizzou’s other wide receivers.
Cooper and Chance Luper should both factor into the mix in the slot this season. Lovett could see some action there, too. How does Houston pick up the offense? Do the Tigers try a “big slot” with one of Burden, Miller or Wayne getting reps in the slot? It’s possible. All of this plays into when Johnson could see the field. Most importantly, though, it will depend on Johnson’s development as a route-runner. He’s incredibly fast, but his routes could use some work, especially at the top of his breaks. That should come with time.
What it all means: Missouri added more speed to its offense, and that’s never a bad thing. If there’s a player Johnson reminds me of on film, it’s – no pun intended – Johnathon Johnson. Johnathon was an early contributor for the Tigers as a redshirt freshman in 2016 both as a returner and a wide receiver. He also added more than 100 yards on the ground with a handful of opportunities running the ball.
Marquise Johnson could eventually carve out a role similar to what we saw from Johnathon Johnson in his time at Missouri. Speed kills, and the Tigers added plenty in this legacy wide receiver.