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ASU Football: Tyler Johnson returning to Sun Devil Football program

Depth on the d-line

Andrew Palla/House of Sparky

According to Chris Karpman of 247 Sports and Sun Devil Source, Arizona State’s Tyler Johnson is returning to the program.

The news comes after the linebacker/defensive end contemplated retirement due to injury and medical concerns a few months ago after ASU’s 20-14 win over Florida State in the Sun Bowl.

In that contest, Johnson put the game on ice with a fumble recovery against the Seminoles to seal the victory.

Johnson dealt with injuries throughout the majority of last season, and he was often in non-contact jerseys at practice. He did not participate in any of ASU’s spring practices.

Despite his health dilemmas, Johnson still had 22 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 5.5 tackles for loss. The year prior, Johnson was a key piece to the Sun Devil defense, playing in 12 games and recording 38 tackles and four sacks.

According to the report by Sun Devil Source, Johnson will also be making a shift in the front seven, going from linebacker to defensive end to add some speed on the edge.

Co-defensive coordinators Marvin Lewis and Antonio Pierce are in the process of molding the unit from Danny Gonzales’ and Tony White’s 3-3-5 scheme into a more traditional 4-3 defensive front.

Johnson will be coached by defensive line coach Robert Rodriguez, who is in his first year at ASU after spending last season with the Minnesota Vikings as the team’s assistant d-line coach. Former ASU d-line coach Jamar Cain left the program in January for a new job at Oklahoma.

With Johnson coming back, he will mix in with other returning defensive linemen such as Jermayne Lole, Stephon Wright, Michael Matus, Stanley Lambert, and Amiri Johnson. The group will also be getting incoming freshmen Joe Moore and Omarr Norman-Lott.