One of UCLA’s promising young receivers might not spend as much time on offense anymore.
Sophomore Mossi Johnson switched to safety last weekend, playing a handful of snaps on defense to help bolster a secondary that lost cornerback Fabian Moreau for the season to a foot injury. The Crenshaw High product had made multiple catches in 10 straight games dating to last October, but only touched the ball once on offense at Arizona last Saturday. Darren Andrews got most of the minutes at slot receiver instead, and recorded career highs with three catches and 40 yards.
While both coaches and teammates have praised the 6-foot, 185-pound Johnson’s athleticism, neither defensive coordinator Tom Bradley nor head coach Jim Mora sounded certain as to how much and how quickly his defensive role would expand. The former said it would likely depend on the specific game situation, as well as the player’s own development.
“I’d rather be a week late with someone than a week early,” Bradley said, “and put him in a situation where he’s not quite ready for it. … We got him some reps in some coverages that he would know.”