The Michigan Wolverines’ special teams unit has been consistently ranked near the top in the nation throughout the offseason. Other than the stellar punter/kicker duo in Brad Robbins and Jake Moody, unsung heroes like the subject of this edition of our outlook series, defensive back Quinten Johnson, deserve their fair share of the credit, too.
The story so far
Johnson hails from Silver Springs, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C. He garnered blue-chip status as a four-star two-way athlete. He obtained offers from Penn State, Alabama and plenty of others. He took several unofficial visits to Alabama, Penn State and North Carolina before Michigan was able to get him on campus for an official visit and wrap up his commitment a week after the visit.
At 5-foot-11, 190 pounds and running a 4.48 40-yard dash, Johnson possessed the body and speed to hit the ground running when he arrived in Ann Arbor. After a redshirt season in 2019, Johnson made his Michigan debut on special teams in 2020 against Wisconsin and also saw action in that unit against Penn State.
Johnson found his niche in the 2021 season as a special teams ace. He played in all 14 of Michigan’s games on special teams and compiled three tackles. Additionally, he was awarded Defensive Scout Team player of the week honors for his efforts in helping Michigan throttle Washington in Week 2.
Outlook for 2022
Listed as a graduate student, Johnson’s primary contributions to the team will be from his leadership. While he is not listed on the unprecedented depth chart that head coach Jim Harbaugh released ahead of the season opener, look for Johnson to continue contributing to the special teams unit this year. Props also should be given to him for his participation on the scout team, which he will probably be called on to be a leader on the defensive side.
Football is undoubtedly a team sport, and guys like Johnson, while not taking nearly any airtime or ink, deserve all credit for making Michigan into a championship-winning squad in 2021 and, hopefully, 2022.