Ty Johnson’s career at Maryland is mostly highlighted on special teams. Johnson’s speed and elusiveness allowed him to be a big play weapon as their return man. Yet despite that skill set, he was only used sparingly in the Terrapins backfield. Which didn’t stop him from making plays when he had the opportunity.
For his career at Maryland, Johnson only had 348 rushing attempts. However, he gained 2,635 yards while averaging 7.6 an attempt with 17 touchdowns. Not bad for limited duty. He also only had 29 receptions but gained 318 yards for an average of 11 per catch while scoring an additional two touchdowns.
When the Lions announced the selection of Johnson in the sixth round, many fans weren’t very aware of who Johnson was, but they also couldn’t be blamed. It’s hard to be a household name when your own team is keeping you under wraps.
But if you saw any Maryland games, then you would recognize him as the really fast kid who was the only one that made any big plays. This sounds like a slight to the rest of the Maryland football team, but the truth is that the Terrapins didn’t have a lot of play-makers and speed kills. Something Johnson has plenty of.
Now Ty Johnson is in Detroit where he has participated in the Lions O.T.A’s. And he hasn’t looked to far out of place. His speed has been noticeable as has his versatility. But we all need to remember that right now we’re watching players in shorts and sometimes things look different when the pads go on and there is actual contact.
Yet even with that cautionary advisory, Johnson’s skill set and speed does make for appetizing possibilities. He has been in the thick of the return game so far this summer, even though one would have to believe a healthy Jamal Agnew will most likely retain the job.
But even if Johnson doesn’t win the return duties, he still has the possibility of winning a place in the Lions backfield, if he can beat someone else out.