Hephzibah’s Telly Johnson has started off his junior campaign with a bang. The stout 6′ 220 lbs. athlete just last week earned Player of the Game in a close 26-17 loss to Laney.
Johnson also made one of the top plays in the state of Georgia last week. Taking a hand-off on the other side of the 50-yard line, Johnson went bursting through the line of scrimmage quickly getting to the 2nd level of the defense. When the first defender approached, Johnson hurdled over and bounced to the outside where he bulldozed over another Laney defender. The junior shrugged off one more would-be tackler and took to the sideline where he outran the pursuit for a 60-yard touchdown score.
The play earned him the #2 spot in our weekly top ten plays after overwhelming support from the Hephzibah community in our poll. The junior divulged into his strong start to the season.
“My junior year is going great so far! On the field, my role has gotten bigger amongst a team with a lot of talent and it’s allowed me to show off what I can do,” Johnson said.
So far, the 2024 running back has 223 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just 19 carries, giving him one of the best yards per carry in the state with an 11.7 average. Johnson broke down his improvements over the last year that had led to this impactful start to the season.
“I’ve improved a lot both on and off the field. My awareness and vision has gotten a lot better as well as my understanding of the game, but a lot of that has come from the countless hours of training and hitting the weight room in the offseason. I also feel like I’ve gotten a bit faster.”
Johnson is certainly a stout-looking back who carries his 220 lbs. frame to get around or through tacklers and continue to push the pile forward. The junior back has a low center of gravity and a strong lower body which allows him to break a lot of tackles, as seen last Friday for the #2 play in the state. He runs with a lot of physicality, much like the player he models his game after.
“I feel like I model my game after Derrick Henry because he runs behind his pads heavily and it’s hard to bring him down.”
In terms of goals for the remainder of the season, Johnson outlined what he would like to achieve both individually and as a team.
My goals for the rest of the season are to reach 1,000 yards rushing and to be the first team all-region running back. Also as a team goal, I want to lead my team to be number 1 in the region,” he said.
On the recruiting front, Johnson has yet to hear from many colleges but considering his strong start to the year we are sure colleges will be interested in the potential of the junior power back. He is definitely a change of pace back at the next level, but he shows an intriguing level of lateral movement coupled with great size for his position.
Anytime you see a junior back start of the year like Johnson, it should certainly catch your attention, it certainly has for us, and we’ll be watching closely the rest of the fall. So for more recruiting news and updates on Johnson be sure to follow @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to hear about his latest happenings – plus athletes from all over the state of Georgia.