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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | Caleb Johnson

November 19, 2020

Notre Dame needed four offensive linemen this cycle. They’ve had that locked up for a while, but adding a fifth in the class is something that had to be on the table given the fact that they only signed two in 2020.

They just added that fifth in 4-star prospect Caleb Johnson‍. A beast of a young man with a frame to be a monster at the next level, Notre Dame picked up a bully in the run game who plays with an edge.

Height: 6’7”

Weight: 295

Projected Position: Guard

ISD Grade: 90 (4-star)

National Average Grade: 89.8 (4-star)

What he does best:

The first thing that stands out is that he is asked to make every kind of block in his high school offense. Nothing is going to be foreign to him when he gets to Notre Dame in terms of what he is asked to do within the offense.

Johnson is a finisher in the run game. He wants to put people on the ground and shares the mentality that any coach wants to see out of an offensive lineman. Not only does he want to put people on their butt, he wants to bury them.


What I like most about his game is that he is a fighter. He’s not always sharp technically, but works hard to sustain his block. He sticks with it and it pays off.


He’s an above average athlete for his size who shows the ability to play with leverage and can get out to the second level while not being overwhelmed. He should be an effective puller at the college level.


What he needs to improve:

There are times when he is a waist bender who leans rather than fits. This is specifically a problem in pass protection where he is raw with his footwork and overall technique. This is going to take some time for him to improve.

I’d like to see him get off the double more often and scrape to the next block. He sticks too long, which is something that should be easily remedied.

He has inconsistent hand placement and gets stuck outside of the frame of the defender. This is very common and not a major concern at this stage in his development.

What’s his ceiling?

The comparison for him is obvious to me. He is very similar to Josh Lugg as a prospect and not just because of the massive frame, but because he is raw in pass protection while still being plenty nasty in the run game.

I do think Johnson is a bit better athlete than Lugg, but it’s worth noting that Lugg took a long time before he became someone who could be trusted in pass protection. He got there, but it did not happen overnight.

Johnson is someone who is going to have to work to become a technician to overcome some of his habits. If he can do that, I think he can develop into a solid starter whose best position is likely guard at Notre Dame, though, I could see him at right tackle as well.

He certainly has NFL potential if he puts it all together and has the chance to become a dominating run blocker.

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