Outside the Huddle and Blitz are counting down who they feel are the top 50 individual players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2023 season.
Our highest preseason honor, the 5th annual First Eleven profiles the top players (in the mind of Outside the Huddle) entering this fall.
No. 1: WR/S Brauntae Johnson, senior, North Side
When it comes to complete players in all three facets, no one is as impressive as Tae Tae.
A season ago for the Legends, the senior Notre Dame commit hauled in 69 receptions for 1,081 yards and 16 touchdowns. And that’s while missing a game during the season.
Johnson served as one of North Side’s primary return men last year and will likely continue in that role in 2023.
But where Johnson has his greatest impact, and where he projects in South Bend as a four-star prospect, is at safety. His natural skill level has gotten him this far, and while his technique isn’t elite, it is coming along nicely. His length and quickness is going to put him in positions to make plays, but it is his continued development that will make him a perfect free safety.
North Side relies on Johnson to lead the way on both sides of the ball. In a Week 1 loss to Northridge, we saw just how much a single player of his caliber can affect a team.
No player in the area is as effective in as many roles as Johnson. For that, he is the No. 1 player in northeast Indiana to begin the 2023 campaign.
COACH’S QUOTE ON BRAUNTAE JOHNSON“Tae Tae is a special player. He can play every position on the field at a very high level. When Tae Ta is at his best our team is very dangerous. He wants to lead our team to greatness and leave a legacy.”– North Side coach Ben Johnson