Ricky Johns hopes to be the next in a long, recent line of successful wide receivers on the WVU football team.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound receiver is the latest prep prospect to commit to the Mountaineers. He offered his verbal commitment to WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen right before he is to begin camp for his senior season at North Penn High School in Lansdale, Pa.
Johns is a perfect fit for the pass-happy Mountaineers, that’s if the offense remains the way it has been in recent years.
Holgorsen is still tinkering the offense before the 2016 season and things could dramatically change, again, by the time Johns arrives on campus in about one year.
In the meantime, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about Johns. His frame will only grow as he gets on a solid strength and conditioning program, like WVU’s own Mike Joseph will no doubt install for him.
At 6-foot-3, Johns is lanky enough to size up his defender and create space for his quarterback through the air. As a basketball player, too, Johns has learned how to use his body to his advantage. He is quick, too, with a shuttle run time of just over four seconds.
That’s probably what first caught the eye of the Mountaineer coaching staff. His main WVU football contact was Mark Scott, who serves as a defense and special teams coach. Forging an early relationship with Scott was Johns’ key into the Mountaineers.
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“West Virginia has been my number one, and I’ve talked it over with my coach, and felt like it was time to commit,” he told BlueGoldNews.com. “The football facilities and Morgantown in general really stand out to me.”
As good as Johns grades out on offense, he is still just a two-star prospect. He is not ranked nationally or in his home state of Pennsylvania. He is actually listed as an “athlete.” That means he will likely play safety or defensive back at the college level.
Even though so many great secondary players start out as wide receivers, there just isn’t enough spots on the depth chart to land a whole host of wide receivers. All of Johns’ offensive skills should translate well to the defensive side of the ball, even at the Division I level.
He can take advantage of his height and speed by locking in on the wide out and making a play on the ball.
Johns may not be fully hyped by recruiting sites just yet, but his love of the Mountaineers will certainly help him get acclimate to the WVU football program throughout his senior year in high school.