Stephen F. Austin Gains Commitment From Arp Running Back Marcalas Johnson
Stephen F. Austin gave its East Texas home base another reason to visit campus during the 2015 football season with the commitment of Arp running back Marcalas Johnson on Sunday.
Tigers head coach Dale Irwin confirmed the news to ETSN.fm.
Johnson (5-10, 190) was an instrumental piece in Arp's success this past season, a run to the Class 3A Division II area championship playoff round and a 9-2 record overall.
He carried the ball 152 times for 1,647 yards and 22 touchdowns. The back also showed flashes of what he can do in the passing game with five catches for 132 yards, an average of 26.4 yards per reception.
Johnson, who had an additional scholarship opportunity from Colorado State, should provide Stephen F. Austin with a nice mix of size, speed and athleticism. He was difficult for opponents to bring down and, with excellent body control, rarely ever was stopped on first contact.
The halfback excelled on toss plays designed to give him open space off the snap and confused defenders with quick counter and spin moves stemming from a wide range play calls.
He was named to the third team ETSN.fm East Texas Football Super Team just hours before his commitment.
Johnson also brings defensive experience as a safety and returned kicks for Arp.
Stephen F. Austin wrapped up its 2014 season with an 8-5 record. It was one of three teams from the Southland Conference to advance to the 24-team FCS playoffs and ended its season in the first round against a very good Northern Iowa team in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
The Lumberjacks should be in position to make another run at the postseason this year. Roster losses to graduation were fairly tame.
Furthermore, the team will enjoy continuity. The 2015 season will be head coach Clint Conque's second in Nacogdoches.
Johnson's commitment was Stephen F. Austin's second from an East Texas player in a four-day period. Tatum linebacker Kyshaun Smith also is expected to sign with the program once the college signing period opens Wednesday.
Together, Johnson and Smith will join 12 former regional high school players returning to the Lumberjacks' program from the playoff season.
Arp will have at least two players sign with Division I programs Wednesday. Defensive end Tyrone Hunt plans to sign with Baylor after a successful weekend visit in Waco.