Louisiana running back Montrell Johnson to reunite with coach Billy Napier at Florida
After Billy Napier took the head coaching job at Florida, nearly every Louisiana player that entered the transfer portal was linked to the Gators. On Friday, running back Montrell Johnson became the second Ragin’ Cajun to follow his old coach to the Swamp.
Having Johnson and offensive tackle Kamryn Waites on the team for spring practice should help establish Napier’s game plan quickly. Johnson will be joining a running back room with two former five-star recruits, Lorenzo Lingard and Demarkcus Bowman. Nay’Quan Wright, the only Florida running back with a decent amount of snaps played, is expected to miss spring as he recovers from an injury, but a not-so-cryptic post on social media following Johnson’s announcement may indicate his intention to enter the transfer portal.
In addition to Napier, Johnson has already played under running backs coach Jabbar Juluke and offensive line coach Darnell Stapleton. He led the Ragin’ Cajuns in carries last season with 162 for 838 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. The Sun Belt Conference recognized as him the Freshman of the Year.
Johnson only started one game in 2021 with redshirt sophomore Chris Smith in front of him as the starter. Florida lost both of its top running backs to the NFL draft already, and Johnson knows what Napier is looking for better than the Gators’ other running backs. Still, it’s a deep room that just added four-star 2022 recruit Trevor Etienne. Napier should have his pick of talented backs to rotate in and out next season.
Johnson was a three-star recruit coming out of high school, according to 247Sports. He was ranked the No. 60 overall running back in the country on the 247Sports Composite.