55 Days to Toledo: Rod Johnson

Over the next 55 days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.

Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in the Swamp on August, 31.

Today we take a look at incoming freshman Rod Johnson.


Johnson’s recruitment was many things but, boring wasn’t one of them. Johnson committed to Florida in March but quickly decommitted in August. Johnson’s decommitment included an unofficial visit to UCF and a visit from Tim Davis. Johnson eventually came back to the Gators and committed again in January.

The excitement didn’t end there. Johnson wasn’t able to enroll with the rest of the 2013 recruiting class because he fell just shy of qualifying. Johnson is currently completing a course that will allow him to enroll in the fall.

Player Evaluation


At 6’6” and over 300 pounds, Johnson has great size for an offensive lineman. Johnson also has great flexibility, agility, balance and quickness out of his stance. Johnson plays with a flat back and very good leverage for a player of his height.

Johnson explodes off the line as a run blocker and can sustain blocks. He does a great job of driving his man back. He also has long arms and active hands than help him as a pass blocker.

Johnson has a mean streak and finishes blocks with aggression.


Johnson needs to work on setting a wide base and anchoring. He has very active and fast hands but he needs to work on hand placement and getting his arms extended onto defenders.

Johnson was much bigger than the players he faced in high school so, he was able to bully defenders for the most part. That isn’t going to happen at the next level. He will need to refine his technique and become more fundamentally sound.

What to Expect

Johnson is on track to be able to enroll this fall but he will be behind the rest of the freshman class. Johnson was a candidate to redshirt before he failed to enroll this summer and this situation isn’t going to help that.

I would expect to see Johnson redshirt, work on refining his technique and becoming a more technical player who relies on his technique more than size. Johnson is a player who will benefit a lot from a redshirt season.

Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC