SportsDesk Impact Player #4: RT Leon Johnson

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Credit: The Temple News
Continuing our top-5 count down, our 4th most influential Temple Owl of 2017 is redshirt senior right tackle Leon Johnson. Johnson recently represented the Owls in Newport, RI for the American Conference Media Day, and he’s poised to lead an offensive line unit who will have a major impact on the success of this team. Johnson has appeared in 32 games on the offensive line in his first three seasons, including 26 starts. He’s coming off of a 2016 season where he started all 14 games, producing the only pair of rushers with 800 yards and 12 TDs each (Jahad Thomas & Ryquell Amstead).
Johnson (left) joined Nick Sharga, Keith Kirkwood and Sharif Finch for AAC media day. //
Credit: Twitter

He’ll bring the most game experience to this offensive line, making him the most impactful of the group. In most cases, the left tackle is the overall best lineman on a given football team (take last year’s Dion Dawkins for example), but the reasoning in this case for most impactful relies on the expected boost in rushing offense, and slight drop off in passing. That of course has to do with the first year starter at quarterback, and with Johnson on the strong side of the line, he will be propelling the run game most often. Without a productive offensive line to help ease in a quarterback, the Owls will most certainly take a big step back from last year’s 7-1 conference record and AAC Championship. This unit however, seems on paper like they can handle the pressure.

If the season started today, the Offensive Line would look like this:
LT Cole Boozer, LG Johvann Fair, C Matt Hennessy, RG Adrian Sullivan, RT Leon Johnson.

The right side of the line will be a scary sight in Johnson and Sullivan, who have a combined 40 starts. Sullivan, another redshirt senior, also started all 14 games last season. On the other side redshirt senior Cole Boozer will be interesting to figure out this season, as he is a converted tight end who made the switch to offensive line last season. Boozer’s 6-5 275 lb frame is at his advantage, and he spent last season as the primary backup to all-conference LT Dion Dawkins. At center and left guard are two promising talents in redshirt freshman Matt Hennessy (Don Bosco Prep) and redshirt sophomore Jovahn Fair. Unlike Hennessy, Fair saw action in every game last season, starting in all but 1. Hennessy will get his first taste of college football after a redshirt season with loads of positive praise surrounding him.

Credit: Philly.com
Here’s Leon Johnson “Mic’d up” courtesy of Temple Athletics from last season’s training camp.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday where we continue our top-5 countdown and release the SportsDesk’s #3 most impactful player of 2017. 

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