LSU DT Anthony Johnson (US Presswire)
All summer long TSD has counted down our choices for the top 50 LSU football players for the 2013 season. Today the countdown continues into the top five, reaching number three, where defensive tackle Anthony Johnson comes in.
Publisher’s Notes: Every weekday until the LSU football team reports for Fall Camp on Sunday, Aug. 4, TSD will unveil another player in our top 50 Tigers for the 2013 season. We arrived at this list by combining individual rankings from TSD’s Austin Cooper, Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua. For example, a player who received a No. 1 vote got 50 points, a No. 2 vote got 49 points, and so on. Every player who received votes had his points totaled across all three individual lists, and the result was our final TSD ranking. All players, including incoming signees, were eligible for selection.
No. 3 – DT Anthony Johnson
A day after Jarvis Landry came off the board, another member of The Fam makes TSD’s top 50 countdown of LSU players for 2013. Anthony Johnson, a man who’s earned the nickname “Freak,” is set up to have a big season this fall as a junior. The defensive tackle has spent the past two campaigns apprenticing – and doing a good bit of work himself – underneath and next to a couple of current pros in Michael Brockers and Bennie Logan. Along the way, Johnson has played in all 27 games possible over the two years, making three starts, and even earning a few Freshman All-America nods in 2011.
During that freshman run, Johnson notched 12 tackles, three for loss and made one sack. The 6-foot-3, 294-pounder upped his game in 2012, finishing with 30 tackles, 10 for loss (third on the team) and three sacks. Now Johnson is the lead dog along LSU’s defensive line, no longer able to thrive in a secondary role. If his performance in spring ball was any indication, Freak is ready to grab the bull by the horns in 2013. He’ll be a leader for this LSU team on and off the field.
By The Numbers
Johnson’s highest ranking: 3rd
Johnson’s lowest ranking: 3rd
Why this ranking is too high
This is absolutely nit-picking, but while Johnson has been solid over his first two seasons, he hasn’t necessarily always lived up to the billing he had coming into the collegiate game. He was without a doubt one of the nation’s top handful of players in the Class of 2011 at any position. Until Johnson lives up to more of his promise, it could be argued he belongs lower on this list. But not much lower, no matter how you view it.
Why this ranking is too low
There just aren’t a lot of 6-foot-3, 294-pounders out there who can run 4.7 40-yard dashes in the college game. LSU has one, and now that he’s being turned loose as a starter at defensive tackle, the sky is truly the limit for Johnson in 2013. Especially considering that defensive tackle is a major position of need after turnover from last season, Freak has a chance to cement himself as one of the top defensive linemen in the nation and climb up the 2014 NFL Draft board.
Discuss Johnson’s ranking on our free board
View TSD’s Top 50 to date
Stick around at Tiger Sports Digest and talk all the latest in LSU sports and recruiting on our free board or over on our premium access board.