Three weeks before its 2016 season starts, LSU will lose Tyron Johnson after the wide receiver announced he will transfer from the program.
Per Johnson’s official Twitter account, the Tigers granted him his full release. He also thanked “LSU and the great coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play for them at the highest level of college football.”
“He wanted to go to a more wide-open offense,” Johnson’s father, Tyrone, said, per Ross Dellenger of the Advocate. “That was the only reason why.”
Johnson was regarded as one of the nation’s best recruits when he committed to LSU in 2015. He was rated as a 5-star prospect, the top-ranked player from the state of Louisiana, the fifth-ranked wide receiver and the 27th-ranked player overall in 247Sports‘ composite rankings.
Even though Johnson played sparingly as a true freshman for the Tigers, you could see elements of his dynamic talent that made him such a sought-after commodity. He had nine receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns in four games.
A game against Mississippi on November 21 was Johnson’s breakout party. He had five catches for 83 yards and one touchdown in LSU’s 38-17 loss.
It wasn’t certain Johnson would see a significant uptick in playing time with LSU this season because Travin Dural, Malachi Dupre and D.J. Chark figure to be featured prominently. The Tigers also have Leonard Fournette in the backfield, who is going to get 300-plus carries if he stays healthy.
ESPN.com’s Max Olson did note Johnson had Texas Tech and Oklahoma State as his finalists last year before choosing LSU. It’s uncertain at this point what schools Johnson could be looking at, but if he wants to go to a place that features a prominent aerial attack, those are two good places to look.
LSU is going to go as far as Fournette and the defense carry it this year. Having a playmaker such as Johnson on the outside would have helped add a passing threat to the offense, but the Tigers’ questionable quarterback situation will allow opponents to gear up for the run until Brandon Harris proves he can beat them.
Johnson got a release from LSU, allowing him to find the situation that’s in his best interest moving forward. It’s bad news for the Tigers but good news for the other high-profile programs around the country that are looking for a dynamic playmaker to boost their offense in 2017.
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Source: Bleacher Report -SEC Football