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Ty Johnson leads Maryland football’s loaded backfield into 2017

Profiles in Terpage begins Running Backs Week with the Terps’ leading returning rusher.

NCAA Football: Quick Lane Bowl-Boston College vs Maryland Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Profiles in Terpage is back for 2017. Last week, we focused on quarterbacks; this week, we’re looking at all of Maryland’s running backs.

Ty Johnson, RB, No. 6

Height: 5’10
Weight: 205 pounds
Year: Junior
Hometown: Cumberland, Maryland
High school: Fort Hill

How he got to College Park

Johnson was a three-star recruit ranked No. 18 recruit in the state. He led Fort Hill to a state championship and had a highlight tape with nothing but touchdowns and interceptions as a junior, but no major offers came of it. It wasn’t until staff saw him at a one-day camp on campus that he got an offer and committed to Maryland.

Johnson gained 250 yards on 7.1 yards a touch his freshman year, and by a combination of injuries and opportunity, last season Johnson became part of a two-headed rushing attack that looks like Maryland’s future at the position.

Career highlight

Johnson rushed for a career-high 204 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries in a 50-7 blowout of Purdue on Oct. 1. If you didn’t do the math yet, that’s good for 29.1 yards per carry, the most for a 200-yard rusher in the last two decades. This performance earned him a Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week nod. In addition to his two touchdowns, his biggest play of the game saw him break away for a career-long 76-yard run.

The Terps ran all over Purdue—to the tune of 400 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

2017 prospectus

Johnson led all of Maryland’s backs with 110 carries for 1004 yards—an average of 9.1 yards per carry—and a position-best six rushing touchdowns last year. He and Lorenzo Harrison should continue to star out of the backfield, although they’ll also need to hold off incoming four-star Anthony McFarland. Expect Johnson to receive considerably more carries this season; he’s shown he can make the most of his chances.

Dream season

Johnson’s workload increases, but he continues to be the efficient runner he’s been since high school. Though he continues to split carries with Harrison and McFarland, Johnson becomes the undisputed ace in Maryland’s backfield. His increased touches and constant production turn him into a bona fide star by the end of the season.

Up next

Though he’s the third of his name, he’s second on the Terps in backfield production.

HughGR is first on the board this week.