If defensive tackle, the spot the Florida Gators shored up on Friday with the addition of four-star tackle Lamar Goods to their 2020 recruiting class, is the priority for the Gators in the 2020 cycle, then defensive back is certainly a priority. Florida is likely to play some green players at certain spots in its secondary and even more likely to lose significant talent to the NFL ranks after the season.
Good thing, then, that the Gators’ second commitment in as many days is a defensive back, with three-star player Tre’Vez Johnson tweeting out his commitment Saturday evening.
Johnson, who hails from Bartram Trail — which can be described as either Jacksonville-area or Duval-adjacent or technically in St. Johns County — spent plenty of time in Gainesville in June, performing before Florida coaches at a camp before returning for an unofficial visit, and clearly impressed enough to earn what looks like the best committable offer on a list otherwise highlighted by Florida cornerbacks coach Torrian Gray’s alma mater and old stomping grounds of Virginia Tech.
But Johnson is also being recruited as a hybrid safety/corner — Florida calls this position Star, sometimes in all caps, under defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, and played Chauncey Gardner-Johnson there in 2018 — and so it is heartening to see his tape shows both coverage skills and a few thumps of receivers.
At 5’11”, Johnson is perhaps slightly on the small side for defensive backs in modern football, and his highlights show he’s not exactly leaving peers in the dust in the open field; unlike erstwhile Florida commit Joel Williams, he’s not likely to be an heir to the roles that should be locked down by CJ Henderson and Marco Wilson this fall. But he also shows very good instincts and closing speed as both a tackler and a ballhawk in the first minute of the highlights, and, frankly, I trust Gray (and, if to a lesser extent, English) when it comes to evaluating defensive backs.
Johnson brings Florida’s class for the 2020 cycle to 15 commitments. That class remains ranked No. 8 nationally by the 247Sports Composite.