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Dynamic Four-Star Safety Commits to Vols

(Photo via Jimmy J. Simmons/Belleville News-Democrat)

On the same day his teammate announced his commitment to Tennessee, Antonio Johnson also decided to go ahead and commit to the Vols as well.

Four-star safety Antonio Johnson of East St. Louis, Illinois attended UT’s camp on Friday with his teammate, offensive lineman Javontez Spraggins. At the camp, Spraggins picked up an offer from the Vols and decided to commit then and there. Johnson picked up an offer from Tennessee back in late February, and he joined his teammate in announcing his commitment to UT’s 2020 class.

According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Johnson is the No. 161 overall player, No. 11 safety, and No. 3 player in the state of Illinois. He also holds offers from Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin, Mississippi State, and others.

Though he’s listed as a safety, Johnson is more along the lines of an athlete. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect lines up at wide receiver, safety, and punt returner for East St. Louis, and he excels at all three. It looks like he’s being recruited more as a safety, but he’s no slouch on offense, either.

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On defense, Johnson shows off really sharp awareness and great ball skills. You can tell he plays offense because he reads QBs and receivers very well while roaming around at safety. He breaks on balls quickly and makes decisive moves. He can also lay down some bone-rattling hits. On offense, Johnson shows great balance and vision on multiple catches. He has solid leaping ability and has pretty good speed for his size. His vision and instincts are shown off even more in the return game or when he picks off a pass and has room to return it.

As a junior last season, Johnson filled out the stat sheet according to MaxPreps. On defense, Johnson totaled 81 tackles and five interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. On offense, he caught 32 passes for 642 yards and nine scores. He also added a punt return touchdown, giving him 11 total scores on the year.

With Johnson’s commitment, the Vols now have eight public commits in their 2020 class. Johnson and Spraggins are the only pair of teammates committed to UT in the 2020 cycle right now. Tennessee has added teammates in the same class before, recently signing teammates Josh Palmer and Kivon Bennett in the 2017 class, Nigel Warrior and Baylen Buchanan in the 2016 class, Tyler Byrd and Carlin Fils-aime in the 2016 class, Maleik Gray and Princeton Fant in the 2017 class, and Jeremy Banks and Jerome Carvin in the 2018 class.

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