Before sitting down with Liberty tight end Johnny Huntley to pick his brain, I reached out to a trusted scouting source to discuss, the 6-3, 240-pound weapon from Liberty. This is what he had to say.
“Johnny Huntley is a good player, and when you review his stats, you are not immediately blown away, but when you turn on the film you can see the potential. He does many great things on the field. He can block in the running game, and he is not afraid to throw his body into a defender. He seems like a team-first player and does not mind sharing the distribution. He has good hands and is great in traffic. I believe he has improved every year. You like to see the player grow and he has. I think when you watched him in Colorado, he isn’t the same player. You can tell he has worked on his game because his catching skills have improved. He runs good routes and stays on the field when it is a run play to block. He is a mismatch for the linebacker he lines up against. If he is one on one with a linebacker I would go to him every time. In the red zone he is a threat, which will become his biggest strength at the next level. He has good size and can run crisp routes to get open. He has tons of upside. I like the kid. I know he has the talent to play at the next level.”
Despite his modest numbers this year, Huntley has still been able to find the endzone. He has hauled in 13 receptions for 167 yards and three touchdowns. His ability to affect the game in other ways is what stands out about him. He has worked on blocking downfield and in the run game. He is a threat in the passing game, so defenses have to account for his presence on the field, especially in the red zone. I asked the Florida native his thoughts on his playing style and what he feels he needs to improve?
“I am a guy that will never quit and work his butt off. I am always trying to get better every day. On the field, I feel like I can help out in a lot of ways. I am going to do what the coaches and my teammates need me to do. I don’t have great numbers, but is not necessarily needed to be a great player. You need to do all the little things to be a good player. You need to prove to your team you are willing to do all the little things and whatever it takes to win. On the field I am aggressive. I feel like if the ball is close, it’s mine. I am fighting for catches. I like to get in and block. As far as the things I need to work on? Everything, I feel like if you are not working on everything you are doing yourself wrong. You should be trying to get better in everything you do. I want to get better in every aspect of the game. I want better hands, to be able to run better routes, and to block better. I feel I can always do more, and I don’t want to ever lose that mindset.”
Moving forward I asked Huntley, about his draft buzz, and dealing with the national attention?
“I don’t want to get caught up in all the talk. I have had rough times, so I don’t take success for granted. I know that I need to stay focused on my craft. I won’t get comfortable, because I want it bad. As far as a team I think we deserve more credit than given. We have tons of work to do, but we are having a pretty good season. I’m glad we are proving ourselves this year by winning some big games. We can’t fall into that hole either man, we can’t watch TV and see the stuff they are saying. We can’t fall for that bull. We just have to keep up the hard work and try to get better every day. That should always be our outlook. At least that’s what it is for me.”
I like to end every one of these articles the same way. I like to ask the readers, to watch the film and decide for yourself. Don’t get caught up in stats, and really watch the guy play. He has great hands, good speed, able to help in the run game and is a true leader on and off the field. The draft buzz on Liberty tight end Johnny Huntley, has been pouring in across the country, and for good reason. Huntley, is a star in the making.
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