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Analyzing new Arizona running back commit Montrell Johnson Jr.

Let’s take a look at the Bayou running back

Photo via @Trellll_3 via Twitter


  • Height/Weight: 6-foot, 200 pounds
  • School/Hometown: De La Salle (New Orleans, LA)
  • Class: 2021
  • Offers: Arizona, Arkansas State Colorado, Duke, Kansas, Louisiana Monroe, Nicholls State, North Texas, South Alabama, Southeastern Louisiana, Tennessee, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Virginia
  • 2019 Stats: 1,204 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 3-star (1,009th nationally, 69th RB, 31st in Louisiana)
  • 247Sports Ranking: 3-star (52nd Pro-RB, 28th in Louisiana)
  • Original Commitment Story


Gabe Encinas: Arizona really didn’t need a running back in this class but they go ahead and get an extremely nice talent out of Louisiana, an area that they have been steadily recruiting now.

I love Johnson’s patience and vision to find the hole and accelerate. Once he gets through the line he has a nice burst to get downfield with a head of steam. He looks incredibly smooth with his strides when the ball is in his hand.

His junior year stats are very impressive and it seems like his high touchdown count came from explosive plays.

He has a great frame and a solid lower body and I’m curious as to how he shapes out. He could double down and become a power back or try to shift some weight around to be a solid all-purpose. I like the value as more of a power back given his style and speed.

It’ll be interesting to see how the running back situation plays out over the next few years. The future of the position is in great hands with Darrius Smith, Michael Wiley, Jalen John and Frank Brown. A lot of talent would provide a strong rotation.

Brandon Combs: Johnson was one of the top running backs for me once he was offered, and even before. And there’s a reason for that.

He is an absolute stud coming out of the backfield. The patience and vision he shows very much reminds me of for Washington Husky Myles Gaskin (who is now in the NFL). He sits and waits for his blocks to develop, takes a cut or two (if needed), and explodes through the whole for a big shock factor. This allows him to gain huge chunks of yardage at a time.

His burst is very impressive, propelling Johnson through a running lane quickly. From there he has decent speed to run away from everyone and find the end zone.

Johnson is a very well built running back, sitting at 6-feet and 200 pounds. He can easily add more muscle to his frame and become a prototypical power back. Personally, due to his build and his skillset, he reminds me of a mix between Gary Brightwell and incoming freshman Jalen John.

Arizona’s running back room has legit depth and talent. Multiple years of successful recruiting have given the Wildcats an impressive stable of players who all have different styles and skillsets. The position group is set up for success for the foreseeable future.

Junior Highlights