Tyron Johnson may not catch a pass Friday in the Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Florida.
He might not leave a defender standing helpless in his tracks like he so often did during his stellar career at Warren Easton, where he became one of the nation’s top receivers.
None of that will matter.
What he does on the field won’t be nearly as important as what he does off the field.
The only thing that matters Friday are the words Johnson utters (or the cap he pulls out of a bag) when he sits on the stage with his family members and announces where he will play next season: LSU, Texas Tech or Oklahoma State.
Auburn and Georgia were in his final five but have been eliminated.
Johnson has kept his final decision close to the vest. His coach isn’t even quite sure where the five-star recruit will end up when he makes the announcement before a national audience on ESPN2.
“I will find out when everybody else finds out,” said Easton coach Tony Hull, who is in Florida with his star receiver.
But what Hull does know is what type of player the Tigers, Red Raiders or Cowboys will be getting.
“They are getting the ultimate competitor,” Hull said. “He takes pride in perfecting his craft. Somebody is going to be lucky to get him.”
Johnson put up big numbers this season to help lead Easton to its best season in over 50 years.
He caught 94 passes for 1,589 yards and 17 touchdowns this season and was an easy choice for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 4A All-State Team.
His goal for Friday is simple.
“I just want to go out and compete against the best players in the country,” Johnson said last week.
Johnson admitted earlier that it was difficult trying to juggle recruiting and the season.
“He handled it great, better than what I expected,” Hull said. “During the season, he didn’t let it be a distraction on the goal. He really stayed focused.”
What’s Johnson looking for in a school?
“I’m looking to see who can coach me up in their program,” he said. “I would like to play for a coach who has had players to go to the NFL.”
All three schools have done that recently.
Texas Tech and Oklahoma State both have three alums playing wide receiver in the NFL.
LSU has eight, including New Orleans native Odell Beckham, Jr. who has a good shot at being named NFC Rookie of the Year.
Perhaps that’s good news for LSU coach Les Miles, who would like to keep the in-state talent at home.
Last season, Miles landed one of the three New Orleans area guys who announced at the Under Armour Game.
He got the one he coveted most in St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette, but two got away. Karr receiver Speedy Noil went to Texas A&M, while Karr defensive lineman Gerald Willis headed to Florida.
LSU also got John Curtis receiver Malachi Dupre, who played in the Under Armour game but waited until signing day to announce his decision.
University High running back Nick Brossette is the only Baton Rouge-area player in the Under Armour game. Catholic running back Derrius Guice is playing in the Army All-American Game. Brossette and Guice are LSU commitments. The pair also earned all-state honors in Class 3A and Class 5A.
Johnson is one of four New Orleans players competing in a pair of all-star games Friday and Saturday.
Riverdale defensive back Donte Jackson, East St. John defensive back Xavier Lewis, and Pine athlete Derrick Dillon will compete in the U.S. Army All-American Game that will be played on Saturday in San Antonio. That game, set for a noon kickoff, will be televised by NBC.
Lewis has already committed to LSU. Jackson hasn’t committed yet. Dillon committed to Florida in May, but could switch after the recent changes on the Gators coaching staff.
Jackson has yet to commit.
All will get to showcase their talents Friday against some of the best players in the country.
Johnson will get to hit the field first. But it’s what he does with the microphone, not the football, that will get the most attention.