There weren’t a whole heck of a lot of uncommitted recruits to keep an eye on for Bearcats fans but Travis Johnson was one of the few. With his teammates lined up next to him the Tampa Jesuit tight end, ultimately deciding between UC and South Florida, reached into his bag and grabbed a black Bearcats hat, illustrating his commitment to Cincinnati. Johnson signed on the dotted line right then and there. The highly recruited tight end is one of the highest rated prospects to ever sign with the Bearcats. He boasted offers from no less than a dozen BCS programs, Auburn, Florida, and Notre Dame among them. But Eddie Gran was able to reel him in to Clifton and I’m sure Cincinnati’s history of sending tight ends to the NFL also helped sway Johnson. Outstanding last-minute pickup for Tommy Tuberville’s crew.
Field Goal % (Big East Rank)
Points Per Game (Big East Rank)
Free Throw % (Big East Rank)
|2012-13||37.8% (14th)||61.8 (12th)||67.5% (11th)|
|2011-12||40.3% (16th)||67.4 (7th)||66.2% (16th)|
|2010-11||42.3% (10th)||64.8 (13th)||67.1% (13th)|
|2009-10||43.7% (9th)||66.5 (13th)||61.5% (16th)|
|2008-09||42.2% (11th)||66.1 (11th)||65.5% (11th)|
|2007-08||41.2% (14th)||64.6 (14th)||66.5% (10th)|
|2006-07||39.3% (13th)||62.8 (12th)||64.6% (13th)|
The embedded highlight reel is a little old but you can see just how much Johnson dominated the defensive players even just a year or two into high school. For a more updated highlight reel check out these on Hudl.
The Tampa Jesuit tight end is just a load to bring down. Johnson seems to have added almost 40 lbs to his frame which made him nearly impossible to bring down one-on-one. This is especially so when lining up at wide receiver across from defensive backs who can be 4 – 5 inches shorter and 50 or more pounds lighter. His size makes him a matchup nightmare for defenses as he can easily out-jump and push around cornerbacks on jump balls. And for a player as large as he is, Johnson appears very quick on his feet. He also returns punts for Tampa Jesuit which helps hone that skill as well as displays his vision and downhill speed. Overall this is a very well rounded prospect with lots of upside.
The Bearcats lost Travis Kelce (likely NFL-bound) and Demetrius Richardson at tight end this past season and there are question marks surrounding just how UC will replace them. But Travis Johnson may provide that answer. Senior Blake Annen is likely the incumbent to win the starting role and DeShawn Dowdy should get quite a few looks as well. But with the talent that Johnson brings as well as Eddie Gran’s likelihood to use multiple tight ends through the game, I could easily see this guy see quite a bit of playing time as a true freshman.