One thing that Purdue will not be lacking this year is a solid defense. With returners like Ryan Russel, Ricardo Allen, Kawann Short, and Bruce Gaston, we have a great core of defenders at almost every position. Today's featured player is another one of those returners that we'll be leaning on to help carry our defense. After coming off a breakout season, look for Josh Johnson to have a larger role in our defense.
Josh Johnson - Sr.
Hometown: Dade City, FL (Pasco HS)
5'11", 195 pounds
2012 Projection: starter at cornerback
After having a season where he recorded 64 total tackles, 2 interceptions, and broke up nine passes, Johnson showed us that he is perfectly capable of hanging with the top receivers in the Big Ten. Johnson's most memorable game was definitely at IU last season; where he had a game changing interception against the Hoosiers late in the 4th quarter that pretty much solidified us a bowl bid. Johnson's other interception came against Michigan. It wasn't as memorable or crazy as the IU pick, but Johnson has showed us that he has a nose for the ball, and makes quarterbacks really think before throwing his way.
Johnson's success at corner has also opened up things for teammate Ricardo Allen. Both corners have showed that they are a force together, and do a great job of not only picking off or breaking up passes, but they give receivers a lot of trouble while running their routes. Johnson does a good job pressing the receivers and forcing them to get a slow start when they begin their route.
Look for Johnson to have another big year for Purdue and potentially being one of our best players on the defensive side of the ball.