The Baylor Bears may have secured their quarterback of the future in 2013 Bryan (Texas) dual-threat prospect Chris Johnson, who signed his letter of intent in December and is enrolled at Baylor and taking classes for the spring semester.
A four-star prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings, the 6-5, 220-pounder is a top-15 dual-threat quarterback prospect nationally and held an offer from Utah before he committed to Baylor early in the process, explaining why his offer list wasn't longer.
He told SB Nation Recruiting last summer that he's ready to work with Art Briles, but especially ready to throw to star Baylor signee Robbie Rhodes, one of the top wide receivers in the entire country.
Here's the evaluation of Johnson from a summer 7-on-7 event:
The Baylor commit has a reputation for having issues with his accuracy, and that was the case early in the day, when it seemed as if he didn't know where the ball was going at times. He didn't have many issues in the short passing game, but had difficulty throwing over the middle and his touch was inconsistent on deep throws, often missing the mark by five yards or more.
Without the benefit of more in-depth film review, it's difficult to say if there's a mechanical issue causing the problems for Johnson, though his mechanics looked relatively clean to the naked eye. On the intermediate throws, the most likely issue is proper weight transfer, as locking the front leg and failing to get out over it can cause the rest of the body to drag through the release, which causes throws to go high of the intended target.
Still, there's no question that the tools are there -- Johnson probably has the best frame of any quarterback in a deep in-state class and looked every bit of 6-5 and well over his listed 195 pounds. Throw in long arms and Johnson is a guy who could project favorably at the wide receiver position, among others, depending on how much weight he could gain. In terms of tools, his arm strength is among the best in the class and something that can't be taught.
Two throws in the final game of pool play illustrated his upside and why he will likely stay at quarterback in college for Art Briles. Two long passes showed that he does have moments of good touch, as he threw touchdown passes in a short period of time, one of which traveled roughly 50 yards and hit his receiver deep in stride. It was truly a thing of beauty.
The Bears may have their quarterback of the future in the Johnson, but it will take him some time in college to get there, even working with a renowned quarterback coach like Briles.
It may take some time for Johnson to develop under Art Briles, but Robert Griffin III was raw coming out of high school as well and made a huge leap from his senior season to the start of his freshman year.
Don't be surprised if Johnson has a similar trajectory.
Recruitment timeline: Johnson committed to Baylor in late January of 2012 and remained firmly committed, with the exception of taking in a Junior Day at Texas A&M.
Bryan High Vikings - Chris N. Johnson #17 (via rcj0618)
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