UCLA football: Mossi Johnson gives receivers a little more, uh, punch

Mossi Johnson, shown during his senior year with Crenshaw in November 2012, is already making an impression at his first UCLA spring practices.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

UCLA freshman Mossi Johnson has impressed coaches and teammates with his receiving skills. On Monday he caught their eye with other skills.

Johnson and cornerback Ishmael Adams had to be pulled off of each other after a post-play fight. Johnson then popped safety Randall Goforth with a forearm on the next play.

“Mossi is turning into one of my favorite targets,” quarterback Brett Hundley said. “He has a nasty streak. He’s scrappy. That’s what you want from a receiver, a guy who is going to hit a DB in the mouth and then burn a DB on the next play.”


Johnson is still on the learning curve, but he has impressed coaches with the traditional way a receiver uses hands.

Said receivers coach Eric Yarber: “I knew he was a real good football player. I didn’t know how instinctive he was. Hehas a knack for getting open, finding the open areas in azone. I didn’t think he would have that right off.”

Johnson, who was a senior at Angeles Crenshaw High in 2012, delayed his enrollment after suffering a knee injury during an all-star game. This is his first spring practice.

“I just had to come in and play,” Johnson said. “I didn’t have to show them anything except the desire to play.”

As for the knee, Johnson said: “I got it out of my mind. In the beginning I was kind of worried about it. Once I started moving around the field, I just stopped thinking about it.”