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New Blue: Newest Michigan commit safety Quinten Johnson ready for ratings bump

The 3-star safety is drawing Peppers comparisons, and seems due for more buzz after the Opening

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Michigan Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Quinten Johnson, a 3-star safety out of St. John’s College High in Washington, D.C. pledged to Michigan’s 2019 class on the final day of The Opening Finals in Dallas.

Johnson continues this recent blue wave of commitments, becoming the 19th commitment in the 2019 class, and the third in three days.

He is the No. 37 safety nationally, as well as the No. 4 player out of D.C. according to the 247 composite. Michigan beat out Alabama, Penn State and a smattering of ACC schools for the safety’s services.

Johnson joins fellow 2019 pledges D.J. Turner II and Joey Velazquez in the defensive backfield. Johnson looks to compete with Velazquez, telling 247 “they want me to go the same route as Jabrill Peppers did and play at rover, and then work my way down to viper.”

He performed well enough to make The Opening Finals, where he finishes up 7-on-7 action today with Team Overdrive.

The first impressions from Johnson’s highlights, putting aside the speed and hands shown at receiver, is a highly-aggressive safety who excels at tackling in space.

Watch the sequence at 1:15. First, he recognizes the screen pass and closes quickly. Next, he beat the perimeter blocker with speed. Finally, he squarely meets the receiver in the open field to finish the play.

At 3:58, watch the timing of this blitz. Remind you of anything?

247’s Steve Lorenz continues in this Peppers-esque vein.

“He’s a blazer,” he writes, “plays a physical brand of football and that’s really what Michigan is looking for. Sort of a Jabrill Peppers-lite. He has the same abilities as a physical safety.”

There is some reservation. Johnson ranks just inside the top-500 nationally, despite playing for a high-profile program in St. John’s College. The school frequently sends elite prospects to the likes of Alabama and Auburn, so to be a 3-star prospect despite the visibility gives some pause.

This could portend a ratings bump, though. Greg Biggins at 247 writes that Johnson earned his spot at the Opening Finals:

“He started the day off with a bang and had the top testing score in the event with a 125.70 Rating. At a rocked out 5-11, 195 pounds, Johnson clocked a 4.48-40, 4.17 shuttle, threw the power balll 47.5’ and jumped 35” in the vertical.”

I personally watched him last year as St. John’s College hosted St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.). Bosco boasted a bevy of elite receivers, including 4-stars in Stanford commit Colby Bowman, Oregon commit Joshua Delgado and Jude Wolfe.

Johnson locked down the deep middle, forcing Bosco to completely abandon their intermediate-to-deep passing game after three quarters. He is starting to translate his impressive physical measurables to game action.

In short, Johnson exhibits the trademark physicality and aggressiveness of a Don Brown defensive back.

Michigan looks to keep adding to its defensive back haul, whether it’s another potential Viper in 4-star Lewis Cine or 4-star corner Josh Sanguinetti. Before any more projection, the dust needs to settle on what’s been a wild two weeks of recruiting.

For more Michigan athletics news, follow @MaizeNBrew and @samgododge on Twitter.