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Paul Johnson explains how he recruits triple option players in a spread happy world


I think it's safe to assume that every quarterback and receiver that have dreams of playing college football coming out of high school want to put up video game type numbers. I'm talking about the type of numbers that quarterbacks and receivers at Baylor, Texas A&M, and Clemson have put up over the last few years.

That's the dream for many guys coming out of high school. Put up gaudy numbers and set yourself up for a big pay day in the NFL.

The spread-happy mentality that has taken over college football over the past decade or so(whether it's Auburn's spread, or Clemson's, or Texas A&M's) has slightly tweaked the way that triple option guys like Paul Johnson approach recruiting.

Asked about his recruiting pitch when going after quarterbacks and receivers in the spread happy world of college football today, Johnson told Sirius XM College Sports Nation that their pitch is just as good as anyone elses, especially when it comes to preparing them for the NFL

"Just take wide receivers for instance. We probably got more wide receivers in the NFL than any other team in the ACC, if you really look." Johnson pointed out, noting names like Stephen Hill, Demaryius Thomas, and Calvin Johnson (even though he left a year before Johnson's arrival, it's a name he still uses in recruiting).

"I think what the offense does is it gives you a chance for a lot of one on one coverage, and allows you to create a lot of big plays. You know, would you rather have 35 or 40 catches for 1,000 yards or 90 catches for 600 yards?"

Then Johnson switched gears and talked about recruiting quarterbacks for his system.

"Quarterback is just like anything else, in the essence that a lot of the guys that we recruit to play quarterback, are recruited to play other positions at other teams. For instance, our quarterback now, Justin Thomas, was committed to play for the University of Alabama as a defensive back, but he wanted a chance to play quarterback in our system, and he fit and had a great skill set."

"It's one of those negative recruiting things that everyone keeps saying, but it goes in cycles. At first it was that 'the offense wouldn't work on this level,' then 'you couldn't recruit to it'. Now as long as we can find a way to keep winning, I guess they'll have to come up with something else."