Well, that didn’t take long. Syracuse offered speedy slot receiver Nykeim Johnson shortly after he put in a standout performance at camp on Sunday, and now roughly 48 hours after that head-turning effort, the Washington DC pass catcher has committed to the Orange. Johnson is rated as a 3-star prospect.
Johnson is the second slot receiver (also, coincidentally, named Johnson) to commit to Syracuse and head coach Dino Babers this cycle, along with Sharod Johnson. Chances are, this pledge will close the door on any additional slot receivers for 2017.
I talked pretty extensively about Nykeim Johnson only yesterday, so I’ll try to avoid being redundant here, but the general recap is that he’s small, but lightning quick. He measured in at 5-foot-7, 157 at the Opening regional in DC back in April, but he’s well built and has a frame that will remind people of Brisly Estime. Or, for longer-term fans, maybe Maurice Jackson or Jamel Riddle.
Speaking of that Opening regional, he was also named the receivers MVP after his performance, during which ran a laser-timed 4.42 in the 40. That was the fastest 40 time of anyone in attendance (which, among several hundred participants, included numerous very high profile players).
Johnson will help out not just as a slot receiver but also in the punt and kick return game, as he’s not just extremely fast, but gets to his top gear really, really quickly. His acceleration is elite, and enables him to burn past defenders and, when going out on passing routes, get behind the secondary on a pretty consistent (and, at the high school level, easy) basis. He’s an electric athlete who will almost certainly bring a few kicks and punts back for touchdowns in his time at Syracuse.
This is a terrific addition for Babers. Johnson also had offers from Virginia, Bowling Green, Army, Navy, and Hawaii, among others, and was receiving strong interest from Illinois and Louisville.