Kevin Johnson: Man Apart on Tobacco Road


Kevin Johnson. Cornerback. Wake Forest University.

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For fans of the Tobacco Road programs, this might be the only name called during the first night of the draft. Some mocks have Duke’s Laken Tomlinson going in the late first round, but Johnson is the only one that is consistently rated in the top round.

How did we get here?

First the North Carolina Tar Heels went through the transition from Butch Davis to Larry Fedora. The scholarship reductions and roster changes resulted in this year’s tiny senior class from the Heels. Of that class, there are a lack of serious picks. Linebacker Travis Hughes, one of the last Davis recruits, never really developed in the new regime.

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  • Second, NC State had a coaching change two years ago. The talent base there is younger and will start showing up after next year rather than this year. So the Wolfpack presence in the first round is also missing.

    The Duke Blue Devils are anticipated to be more active players in the later rounds of the draft. Besides Tomlinson, who is a late first or second rounder, there is also record setting receiver Jamison Crowder. Crowder will likely get his named called tomorrow.

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    So for now, the only man who will likely be drafted tonight is the captain of an embattled defense who received exactly no help from its offense over the course of the season. Yes, Kevin Johnson, it was all for this. Next year, Johnson will be surrounded by NFL players.

    For everybody else, we will be digging through the later results to see where the few other guys ended up. Meanwhile Justin Hardy of East Carolina will go in the second round. Shane Carden will get the call too, a couple rounds later.

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