Some info on Storm Johnson, Running Back from UCF

Discussion in 'NFL Draft Forum' started by SCLSU Mud Dogs, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. SCLSU Mud Dogs

    SCLSU Mud Dogs foos-ball is the devil! Donator

    Joined:
    Mar 2007
    Messages:
    8,451
    Likes Received:
    764
    Trophy Points:
    113
    For those who don't know, I was a UCF football beat writer this past year and got a chance to watch every one of UCF's games, as well as talk to players and coaches about football related things.

    Some view Storm Johnson as a sleeper pick, while others have him ranked very low. I'm here to tell you that he very well could be one of the most talented backs in this draft.

    However, my big issue with him, which isn't widely reported, is his off-field issues that forced him to transfer from UM to UCF. I'm not buddy-buddy with Johnson, and I've really only talked to him a handful of times. But what I do know is that Johnson's family wanted him to transfer to UCF because they felt he would stay out of trouble with a coach like George O'Leary looking after him and setting up rules and guidelines for the team.

    As we all know, the NFL is not college football, and in many cases, players do whatever they want, sometimes leading to poor situations like arrests or being out of shape. I am not saying Storm Johnson is going to be a criminal. I'll repeat that again so it's clear. I am NOT saying he is going to get into trouble or anything like that. Johnson, when interviewed, was very select in what he would say, and it was very generic. In a lot of cases, it would be very difficult to get him to open up at all. He presented himself very low key, trying not to put himself in the spotlight and giving his teammates the credit.

    The South Florida connection is there. I think he's an incredibly talented running back who has elusiveness that is second to none. But I have concerns about Johnson being mature enough to thrive in an NFL setting, due to the circumstances that led him from UM to UCF.

    For all I know, he could be a completely different person than he was two years ago. I just wanted to put some information out there for those who have any interest in him as a prospect.

    As a player, he is incredibly fun to watch and he has some of the best elusiveness that I've seen in a running back.

    He's not overly powerful, but he's big enough to take hits. He's not the fastest guy, but he's fast enough to get around the edge. If you've seen him play, you know how good he is at not only avoiding contact, but getting through it. He was in a pro-style offense at UCF, with a coaching staff that has NFL experience. He was with coaches that were hell-bent on its players being all-around guys.

    Storm does not get a lot of publicity on his ability to catch passes out of the backfield, but there were quite a few times when he turned a short little dump off pass into an incredible play. Like mentioned before, UCF coaches would not put players in the game who couldn't block - that including running backs and receivers.

    Storm also performed very well against UCF's toughest opponents.

    At Penn State: 17 rushes, 117 yards. 6.9 ypc. Long of 58. One rushing TD and one receiving TD
    South Carolina: 16 rushes, 64 yards. 4.0 ypc. 4 receptions, 41 yards. One rushing TD
    At Louisville: 18 carries, 109 yards. 6.1 ypc. 4 receptions, 79 yards. One rushing TD, one receiving TD
    Houston: 28 carries, 127 yards. 4.5 ypc.
    Fiesta Bowl against Baylor: 20 carries, 124 yards. 6.2 YPC. Three rushing TD's.

    He's a guy that's going to consistently get the chunk yardage plays and when needed, he'll bail you out with some YAC or by making a gazillion people miss.

    His vision is spectacular. He had a tendency early on to want to break off a big run every time, and wouldn't follow blockers or run through his holes. He's been coached up on taking what the defense gives instead of trying to bust a home run every time. Every now and then he'll get happy feet trying to find the home run, but for the most part, he's been great at following blockers. He'll make some cuts across the field in lanes you didn't even know existed. It's almost scary sometimes how he finds the lanes he does.
    He also has a knack for finding the endzone. He knows where the goal line is and when he's near it, he finds a way to get into the endzone.

    The only negative thing about Johnson's game is his fumbling habit. There were several times this year when he was put on the bench for recklessly handling the ball in traffic. It's something he was constantly coached on, and something he'll still need some work on going into the future.

    I'm still not sure if I'd want him on Miami, due to my concerns about his maturity and him making dumb decisions off the field when nobody's there to hold him back.

    Otherwise, he is one of the most talented backs in this draft without a doubt in my mind.

    Here's Johnson vs. Penn State: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbdkDtq854s
    Here's his highlight from the first four games of the season: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsZjjZCUy4M
    Here's the YAC I was talking about: http://youtu.be/0SvEwbja8jU?t=50s
     
  2. dolfan91

    dolfan91 Starter Donator

    Joined:
    Feb 2004
    Messages:
    3,085
    Likes Received:
    275
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Storm Johnson is also good to above average at picking up the blitz and blocking out of the backfield. This is what I like most about him. He is a favorite of mine in this draft.
     
  3. Fin Thirteen

    Fin Thirteen FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

    Joined:
    Mar 2010
    Messages:
    4,179
    Likes Received:
    262
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I don't like the careless way he holds the ball, it's the reason for a lot of his fumbles, if you ask me.

    I think he excels at pushing the pile for the extra yard or two in contact and he gets around the corner very well to break the big runs. He's a nice receiving option and I confess I haven't seen much of his blocking to comment. I'm not so convinced about his ability to pick and knife through those small NFL gaps between the tackles. Given I'm not convinced about either Miller or Thomas or Gillislee's ability to do that either, I'm desperate for us to pick up a tough, compact RB for a 1-cut offense who has the vision, power and leg speed/drive to get the tough inside yards. I really like Kadeem Carey for our offense, and there are a few others who interest me. I feel with Johnson, we'd get a 20% tougher Daniel Thomas.

    We're not picking any divas or troublemakers either. I just don't see us having the mindspace in the staff for reclamation projects, after all we've been through.

    There are some guys in the draft I would love to steal off 31 other teams because they were afraid of perceived character flaws. In my book, Storm isn't one of those guys.
     
  4. Chubby

    Chubby SUPERFAN

    Joined:
    May 2002
    Messages:
    6,874
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Another Positive--- He has a great Football name :)
     
  5. dahlmarino

    dahlmarino Hating The Jets With A Passion Since '84

    Joined:
    Aug 2005
    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    48
    I like Johnson, and in terms of on-the-field performance I think he is what Miami is looking for. Judging by who they've talked to so far I believe our FO is looking for a complete back with decent vision (check) and power (mostly check) to their game, so I'm looking at Miami to go after Carey, Mason, or Sankey/Seastrunk in rounds 2-3, release DT, and keep Miller as the change-of-pace guy. That's just how I'm reading into it so far.
     
  6. fininpsl

    fininpsl A True Fan

    Joined:
    Apr 2012
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    117
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Johnson is a good football player. It stung when he left UM. He's a little flaky, but has he gotten into any substantial trouble off the field? I hadn't heard of anything specific. On the field the kid is a very good football player. Would upgrade our backfield and it looks like he can be had later in the draft.
     
  7. fishfanmiami

    fishfanmiami Have you seen junior's grades ? Moderator Finheaven VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 2008
    Messages:
    17,093
    Likes Received:
    2,408
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The first time he touched the ball at the U I think he when 70 yards for a score. I was pissed when he transferred. Great name.
     
  8. FearTheBeard

    FearTheBeard FearTheBurke

    Joined:
    Jun 2007
    Messages:
    4,263
    Likes Received:
    101
    Trophy Points:
    63
    He's an intriguing middle rounder.
     
  9. JCane

    JCane Administrator Finheaven VIP Donator

    Joined:
    Jul 2008
    Messages:
    16,520
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Another big time Miami Hurricane recruit who fizzled out, left The U, went elsewhere, received better coaching and did well in his college career.
     
  10. SCLSU Mud Dogs

    SCLSU Mud Dogs foos-ball is the devil! Donator

    Joined:
    Mar 2007
    Messages:
    8,451
    Likes Received:
    764
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I don't know about better coaching, but certainly a more disciplined approach at UCF. He'll need that same approach in the pros for him to thrive, IMO. If he's got a mentor/coaches that go out of their way to make sure he's doing the right thing, he'll do fine.

    I wish there were more videos on youtube of him, because he has does a lot of great things during a game.
     
  11. JakeMcAwful

    JakeMcAwful Irish Dolphan

    Joined:
    Apr 2010
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    28
    [video=youtube;r3bLgFtgwVE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3bLgFtgwVE[/video]
     
  12. jnewmant

    jnewmant Hit folks and like it!

    Joined:
    Feb 2005
    Messages:
    2,368
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    i didn't come away too impressed by that video
     
  13. SCLSU Mud Dogs

    SCLSU Mud Dogs foos-ball is the devil! Donator

    Joined:
    Mar 2007
    Messages:
    8,451
    Likes Received:
    764
    Trophy Points:
    113
    You do realize that he averaged 6.8 yards per carry in that game against Ohio State right?
     
  14. jnewmant

    jnewmant Hit folks and like it!

    Joined:
    Feb 2005
    Messages:
    2,368
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    you do realize that he had a long rush for 48 yards and the rest of his carries averaged out to 2.45 yards per carry don't you? We've already got that in lamar miller.
     
  15. SCLSU Mud Dogs

    SCLSU Mud Dogs foos-ball is the devil! Donator

    Joined:
    Mar 2007
    Messages:
    8,451
    Likes Received:
    764
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Have you seen any other games that he's played in? Perhaps taking a single game from his first year at UCF really isn't the best way to get an accurate depiction of what he's like as a runner...
     
  16. jnewmant

    jnewmant Hit folks and like it!

    Joined:
    Feb 2005
    Messages:
    2,368
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Nobody said it was. You're the one that brought up his 6.9 ypc when it was actually 6.3 ypc all because of one chunk run. All i said was "i did not come away too impressed by that video". Did you watch it? If so were you impressed? If you were impressed, why and if you weren't why not? Do you have a video of him that impresses you? If so I'd like to see it. I don't feel like i've seen enough of him to get an accurate depiction of what he's like as a runner...
     
  17. SCLSU Mud Dogs

    SCLSU Mud Dogs foos-ball is the devil! Donator

    Joined:
    Mar 2007
    Messages:
    8,451
    Likes Received:
    764
    Trophy Points:
    113
    If you read the original post you'll see what I said about him.

    But in the video
    26 second mark, gains 3 or 4 when nothing is there.
    32 mark quickly gets through a hole on a cutback, gets 7 yards initially and then keeps his legs churning to carry 5 players past the first down marker.
    1 minute mark draws pass interference call in the endzone
    1:26 on a screen pass, turns around immediately to a defender, shakes him off, maneuvers his way for a 15+ yard screen play
    Next play, long run, manages to keep feet in bounds to gain extra yards
    2:16 cutback, takes what defense gives him, gains six

    Again, this is in his sophomore season, and first year playing for UCF.
     
  18. jnewmant

    jnewmant Hit folks and like it!

    Joined:
    Feb 2005
    Messages:
    2,368
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I did read your original post, I was asking specifically about this video. I watched a couple more videos on him. Counldnt really find much. His penny state game was impressive. I can definitely see what you're saying about trying to hit home runs early in his career. Seems like he left a lot of yardage on the field by being impatient and running past his blocks before they could engage their defender. He seemed to be better at setting defenders up his second season so obviously he's coachable. Im still trying to peg his running style. Not quite there yet.
     
  19. Awsi Dooger

    Awsi Dooger A True Fan

    Joined:
    Feb 2005
    Messages:
    7,775
    Likes Received:
    188
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I think it was marijuana use that got Storm into trouble with the Canes. That has been reported on several Canes sites. And it's hardly been restricted to Storm Johnson alone. The issue has plagued Seantrel Henderson and many other players. Apparently during the Randy Shannon era the coaching staff didn't care about marijuana use, particularly during the offseason. Oh, they might have said the right things publicly but the players quickly realized the enforcement wasn't there. Consequently the players got comfortable breaking the rules, especially at their on-campus housing.

    When Al Golden got the job, the situation reversed dramatically. Suddenly it wasn't lip service. Golden views drug use as a significant offense. But the players didn't want to believe it. The same situations that prompted a look-away under Shannon suddenly led to warnings and suspensions under Golden. That was particularly true during the period after spring practice but before fall practice. Miami has had many issues during that stretch from April to August, lots of kids getting suspended and leaving the program. The kids think it doesn't matter if they are using minor drugs when nothing is going on other than UTough drills and other conditioning programs.

    Storm Johnson looked good as a freshman and also in the spring game following his freshman year. Then quickly the word spread on Canes forums that he was in trouble with Golden. It was Golden's first year, specifically his first offseason. Within a month or two after the spring game Storm announced he was transferring. None of us understood it at the time, until many other players encountered trouble during the same time frame in subsequent years under Golden.

    Anyway, I like Storm Johnson but I think he's become somewhat overstated, partially due to the transfer situation. That seems to attach intrigue that isn't always warranted. Nice gliding runner but not particularly big or explosive or intense. I was just starting to compare Storm with Lamar Miller when Storm departed. Storm has greater variety in his game but less of a threat to take it the distance, regardless of Miller's trouble in the open field last season. I thought they were both 3rd or 4th round caliber complimentary backs and I'll stick with that.
     
  20. Dmarino110

    Dmarino110 Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 2005
    Messages:
    2,149
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I loved watching storm at UCF...

    as a ucf fan I know kevin smith ran a faster 40 than storm at the combine but it always looked like storm was faster on the field with pads on...that could also be because UCF had to run smith where their offense was much more balanced this year...

    The only negative I have with storm is he dropped a bunch of balls this year...I wonder if he was lazy with the ball all those times or is it a hand sized thing like ricky had...
     
  21. gunn34

    gunn34 Pro Bowler

    Joined:
    Jun 2003
    Messages:
    3,045
    Likes Received:
    106
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I've worked at UCF from 2007 up until Jan 2014 and saw both Smith and Storm play. I have no doubts about Storm other than that d@mn fumbeling. He does it too much. That has cost him alot of money in the NFL. Instead of going in rd 2 or 3, I think he goes later.
     
  22. Roman529

    Roman529 Moon Runner / The 3 AM Crew

    Joined:
    Jul 2004
    Messages:
    36,493
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Living in Colorado, I don't have any issues with a guy using pot :d-day:, just as long as he doesn't fail a drug test. It's not like the guy beats or gets stabbed by his girlfriend, or has a big rap sheet. I think RB's like Sankey, Mason and Carey could be taken anywhere from the 2nd-4th round......it would be nice picking up a quality RB like Storm Johnson later on. :up:
     
  23. Awsi Dooger

    Awsi Dooger A True Fan

    Joined:
    Feb 2005
    Messages:
    7,775
    Likes Received:
    188
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I would guess 4th round but wouldn't be surprised if he snuck into the 3rd.

    In terms of style, Storm always reminded me of a smaller Sammie Smith. I know that name carries negative impressions around here but it's meant as a compliment. Storm is very talented, like Sammie, but he fumbles too much and also like Sammie he often can look like a special player one week but not really jump out at you the next week. Too much reliance on natural ability with inconsistent intensity level.

    The difference, of course, is that Storm won't cost a premium pick.
     

Share This Page