Former Terp Ty Johnson has been impressing throughout the preseason for the Detroit Lions, but his performance evolved to another level Friday night, scoring his first NFL touchdown against the Buffalo Bills.
In the red zone and down 7-3 to the Bills, the Lions decided to go for it on fourth and three. Quarterback Matthew Stafford fired an 11-yard pass to Johnson, who then bullied his way into the end zone. The rookie threw his hands in the air, soaking in the big moment, before being surrounded by teammates.
Former Terp Ty Johnson gets his first taste of an NFL touchdown. pic.twitter.com/ozmTiQIkrp— Lila Bromberg (@lilabbromberg) August 24, 2019
Though Detroit lost the game 24-20 in its third preseason loss, Johnson’s touchdown gave a big boost. He finished the game with nine rushing yards on four attempts in addition to the reception.
“Everyone wonders how it’s going to be when you first get here,” Johnson told ESPN last week. “But when I made a few plays, I was like, ‘OK, it’s going to translate pretty well.’”
Johnson wowed the Lions coaching staff and players with his speed in training camp. Even Darius Slay, who is known for his confidence and saying he is the best at everything, said Johnson might be faster than him. After all, he did run around the sub-4.4 mark (unofficially timed as fast as 4.26) in his 40-yard dash at his Maryland pro day.
“Certainly his speed is something that is very interesting, and I would say there are definitely some trends in the league right now where you have guys who have different types of speed out there that gives defenses problems, and those are hard players to defend,” Lions coach Matt Patricia told ESPN. “Right now, for him, it’s really about learning the position and making sure that’s all consistent.
“And then, once all that kind of gets settled down, if it goes in the direction that we want it to, we can try to explore other areas to use his athleticism and things like that to help us.”
After the first three preseason games, where he’s played more and more with the first-team offense, Johnson looks to have a bigger role than expected when the team drafted him in the fifth round in April. And it sure helps that the team let go of running back Theo Riddick in July, leaving the former Terp most likely in the third spot on the depth chart as he competes with Kerryon Johnson and C.J. Anderson for touches.
In other news
Maryland women's soccer won its game against the New Jersey Institute of Technology in double overtime Sunday to start the season 2-0. The Terps had plenty of opportunities but couldn't find a goal until it was do or die.
Former Maryland football player Wes Brown organized an event this weekend to give back to the Baltimore community. He handed out backpacks and school supplies to kids on Sunday.
Because of @wes_brown24, more than 60 kids in Baltimore went home with a backpack full of school supplies today ✂️ #HeATerp pic.twitter.com/v48YDpcBfP— Amy Jennings (@amyjenningsnews) August 26, 2019
The Maryland football coaching staff surprised the team Friday with a trip to the movies instead of the scheduled practice. You could say the guys were pretty excited.
Different kinda film session today...— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) August 23, 2019
SQUAD GOIN TO THE MOVIES pic.twitter.com/5rq1Lut0gX
The Washington Post’s Emily Giambalvo wrote about Tyrrell Pigrome’s hard journey to reach Maryland football as he continues to fight for the starting quarterback role.
Maryland basketball sophomore Aaron Wiggins welcomed the university’s new freshmen class to campus on Saturday.
NEW TERPS!— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) August 24, 2019
The 2019 B1G Show is here and @Aaron_Wiggins_ is on the mic
Don’t miss this one! 8pm. Maryland Stadium. pic.twitter.com/7jBv9v89AW
No. 1 ranked Maryland men’s soccer had an exhibition game against No. 6 UNC Saturday. The defending national champions took a 3-1 loss.
The final tune up before the show begins— Maryland Soccer (@MarylandMSoccer) August 24, 2019
Your XI. #Excellence pic.twitter.com/TnEohu51Bj
Maryland volleyball had its first scrimmage of the season on Saturday. The team has its first games this upcoming Saturday against Austin Peay and Kansas State.
Couldn't make it to the scrimmage yesterday? We've got you covered.#LND pic.twitter.com/KkulFKkD5f— Maryland Volleyball (@TerpsVolleyball) August 25, 2019