Dan Lanning and the Oregon Ducks can’t seem to get enough of the transfer portal, picking up a new transfer target or commitment seemingly every day. On Wednesday afternoon, Oregon added their 10th transfer commitment of 2024: Brandon Johnson, a former defensive back for the Duke Blue Devils.
The Ducks are losing their top CB from 2023, Khyree Jackson, this offseason, so the addition of Johnson is opportune. Oregon has also added 4-star transfer CB Kam Alexander as well as a long list of blue-chip players in the 2024 class.
Earlier this week, Washington’s star CB Jabbar Muhammad entered the portal, and speculation grew that he would end up at Oregon. After Johnson’s transfer, it is still a possibility, with Johnson projected more as a nickel safety than an outside cornerback.
Here are the things you need to know about Oregon’s newest CB.
He Has 1 Year of Eligibility Remaining
Johnson is entering his final year of eligibility in 2024, after playing three seasons at Duke. As a freshman, Johnson played in seven games, and he played in every game as a sophomore and junior (excluding the 2023 Birmingham Bowl, as he’d already entered the transfer portal). In his career as a Blue Devil, Johnson had 128 tackles, 16 TFLs, 7.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 11 pass breakups.
He fits into the Nickel/STAR more than an outside CB
At Duke, Johnson primarily played in the nickel position, defending the opposing offense’s slot receiver. Slot corners have to be fast and able to change direction quickly since they need to be ready for their receiver to cut inside or outside. And since Johnson primarily plays in the slot, there could still be room for Jabbar Muhammad — a true corner — on Oregon’s defense.
He's a physical defender
At 5’11” and 180 lbs., Johnson isn’t the biggest player, but that doesn’t stop him from being physical. In coverage Johnson, uses his strength to break up passes, and in pursuit, he uses it to get downhill and knock runners backwards. In 2023, PFF gave Johnson a tackling grade of 71.7, the highest grade in the Blue Devils’ secondary.
He was an All-ACC honorable mention in 2023
Johnson was named an All-ACC honorable mention in 2023 after his strong season. Johnson finished 2023 with 56 tackles, 8.5 TFLs, 2 sacks, and 4 pass breakups. He was one of five Duke Blue Devils named to an All-ACC team.
He comes from an athletic family
Johnson isn’t the first member of his family to excel in athletics. Both of his parents attended Lenoir-Rhyne University — a Division II school in North Carolina — where his father, Wayne, played football and his mother, Alanna, played basketball.
Was a three-star recruit out of high school
Coming out of high school, Johnson was rated as a 3-star recruit by 247 Sports. In high school, Johnson played at Newton-Conover High School where he was named All-Conference and All-State. Johnson also ran track for three years and was the regional 100-meter dash champion according to Duke Football’s website.
He does more than just cover
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When looking at stats for a defensive back, you often first glance at tackles, interceptions, and pass breakups. However, Johnson does a lot more than that, and he’s proven to be a big threat getting after the QB and as run-defender as well. In his career, Johnson has 16.5 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks.
We saw the Ducks utilize safety and cornerback blitzes often last year with both Evan Williams and Khyree Jackson, so expect to see the same this year as well.