A high school football player from Mobile has been named one of 16 finalists in a competition to grace the cover of Alabama’s 2016 edition of Friday Night Football magazine — an annual publication covering varsity programs throughout the state.
An “elite” defensive end for St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Ryan Johnson played an instrumental role for the Saints in 2015. His sophomore year, Johnson recorded 75 tackles, 10 sacks and threw in a fumble recovery and an interception for good measure.
St. Paul’s ended the season with a second-straight 5A Championship after a 41-26 win over Mortimer Jordan High School, but people outside Alabama are already taking notice of Johnson’s potential on and off the field.The recruiting website scout.com, ranks Johnson 111th nationally among 2017 recruiting prospects and 10th in his position. More than a year away from graduating, he’s already seen 30-plus scholarship offers from Division 1 programs, the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Duke, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Notre Dame.
Some of Johnson’s on-the-field highlights can be seen here, but he also has a 3.9 GPA in the classroom.
In his first year at the varsity level, Johnson’s performance landed him among 15 other high school standouts in the “Alabama Coverboy Contest.” The Friday Night Football staff selected the finalists, and of those, four will be chosen to appear on the cover through an online voting process that’s already underway.
With others from cities like Madison and Opelika, Johnson is the only contestant from the Southwest region of Alabama, and his family is asking for the community’s help in voting.
The four finalists with the most votes will make the cover, and currently, Johnson is in sixth place with 747 votes. Votes can be cast online through April 15 at the FNF website under the “Cover Boy” section or through this direct link.