Gophers add Illinois TE Julian Johnson to 2024 class

–> Three-star Auro, Illinois TE, Julian Johnson committed to the Gophers Tuesday becoming the 12th player to join the University of Minnesota’s 2024 recruiting class.

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21 days since Koi Perich committed to Gophers finally got back on the board when Illinois tight end Julian Johnson committed to the program. Listed at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds Johnson chose Minnesota over other top offers from Texas A&M, Iowa and Kansas State. 247sports ranks him as the 27th-best player in the state of Illinois.

Who is Julian Johnson?:

Julian Johnson is a two-sport (football and track & field) student-athlete at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 2,500 students, Johnson attends one of the biggest public schools in the suburban area of Chicago. He broke onto the recruiting scene after an impressive junior year of football playing all over the field at TE, DE, WR and LB. Following the season he picked up 20 different Division I offers, highlighted by Texas A&M, Iowa, Kansas State, Missouri and Purdue to name a few. After unofficially visiting Minnesota on April 8th, he committed to the program nearly one month later.

  • Scouting Report:

Listed at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds Johnson has an ideal frame for a red zone target threat, making him a very intriguing long-term prospect. Last season, he lined up a lot on the outside as a wide receiver, but he projects as a traditional tight end for the Gophers. He consistently wins with his athleticism as an elite jump ball option. He has room to grow as a true route runner, but his high school tape reminds me a lot of current UMN tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford.

**High School Football Hudl Highlights: 

Instant Reaction:

Since adding Brevyn Spann-Ford in 2018, the Gophers’ tight-end recruits have all had a similar skill set, that of in-line blocking over the middle-type receiving options. Julian Johnson is the first with a very similar skillset to BSF. I do not want to put any extra pressure on Johnson, but I do want to say that he projects as a fun red-zone threat. As a terrific athlete, with elite size and only one season of real varsity production, he has the chance to be a quick-rising prospect in his senior season. Behind the Gophers’ top three TEs (BSF, Geers and Kallerup) there are a lot of question marks, so it made sense to go after another tight end in the 2024 class.

What is next?:

With the addition of Johnson, the Gophers now have 12 commitments for the class of 2024. 247sports currently has Johnson unranked, which I expect to change eventually, but that means the class remains 16th-best in the country. With the school year wounding down we are beginning to leave the spring recruiting period and enter the summer one. Johnson is another fun offensive weapon with intriguing long-term potential.

Full 2024 class:

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