Johnson graduated from Aynor (S.C.) High School in 2008. In his senior year, he earned first-team all-state honors as selected by the Associated Press. Johnson played in the 71st-annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. Rivals.com ranked him as a three star prospect, the 13th-best offensive center in the nation and the 17th-best player in the state of South Carolina. Johnson ultimately chose South Carolina over offers from Vanderbilt, Duke, Wake Forest, East Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland and N.C. State.
Johnson redshirted his first year on campus. In 2009, Johnson was named the Most Improved Offensive Lineman in the spring, and ended up starting every game. In 2010, he started all 14 of South Carolina’s games at center. In 2011 he started all 13 games at center. In his redshirt senior year, Johnson started in all 13 games, and set the University of South Carolina’s record for starts over a career. He was named to the Coaches All-SEC second-team.
Stands tall, and has a big frame. Carries his weight well, with adequate development in the upper and lower body. Lots of starting experience. Smart players, makes calls at the line. Shows good awareness on blitzes and stunts. Recognizes when his teammates need help and provides it. Finishes plays. Decent at getting to the second level.
Inconsistent in his hand placement. Will grab outside the framework of a defender, resulting in holding penalties. Can be overwhelmed with initial quickness or when he is not the first to use his hands. Struggles to sink his hips. Has issues with mirroring defenders in space.
While Johnson lacks overwhelming physical tools, he's got size, smarts, and plenty of experience to back him up. These traits could potentially earn Johnson a late-round selection.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.