The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will, once again, take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2021 season.
#72 Caleb Johnson, OL
A Fort Wayne native who moved to Ocala, FL and attended high school at Trinity Catholic, Johnson comes to Notre Dame as a four-start recruit. He was ranked #320 overall in the class of 2021 and #23 at the offensive tackle position. Johnson notably flipped to Notre Dame from the Auburn Tigers about a month out from Signing Day, bolstering an already solid OL class.
Johnson is a commanding physical presence at 6’7” and 295 pounds, and brings exceptional athleticism to the table for such a large prospect. While that would seem to make him a natural tackle prospect, he is also strong and proficient enough in the run game to play guard and may end up there by the end of his time at Notre Dame.
The Restaurant That Fits
Johnson’s time as a Floridian earns him this restaurant classification, as it seems like the perfect destination for a Midwesterner moving down to the Sunshine State (see: “Boat Drinks”).
And while Johnson made a big splash on Instagram sporting a flannel, I have no doubt this guy could also rock a Hawaiian shirt and straw hat.
Anything can happen with this year’s Irish offensive line, which has to replace four starters, but it seems unlikely that Johnson will be one of them. Scouts during his recruitment praised his athleticism, size, and frame, which appear to be college-ready, but noted that he needs to do some work on the nuances of the game: bend, avoiding lunges in pass protection, etc. Look for Johnson to be tracked toward a particular position while developing those skills and adding more quality weight in 2021, before competing for starting roles in the future. Coachable and refinable details aside, Johnson’s size and natural athleticism are outstanding and he shows great promise in both run and pass blocking. He is most certainly a guy to watch moving forward for the Irish.