Jawon Johnson's affecting performance at the Red Wolves camp earned the 6-foot-2, 313-pound defensive tackle his fourth Division 1 offers. Johnson traveled to Jonesboro Sunday with a Starkville (Miss.) High School teammate to take part in the Arkansas State one-day camp.
"The [Arkansas State] coaches liked how quickly I come off the ball," said Jawon Johnson. "They liked my take off. Coach Ingram is a coach who likes you to use your hands. I think he would help me to elevate my game. It was a real good day. Coach Malzahn came over and shook my hand and told me I was a good player."
Johnson has been to previous camps at Mississippi State (in his hometown) and Alabama. He also went to a Nike Combine in the spring in Montgomery, Ala. The Jonesboro visit was Johnson's first to a school he's been offered by.
"My offers are from Indiana, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas State, and Southern Miss," he stated. "I'm going to take my time to make my decision. I want to play at a college with a competitive depth chart. If I go somewhere and get handed the job, then I won't feel like I earned it. I want the coaches to push me hard to get the position. When I get it, I'll know I'm improving to where I want to be."
Johnson played most of his junior football at offensive tackle in Starkville's run to the Mississippi 5A state championship game at Jackson's Veteran Memorial Stadium. Next season, he'll move back to the defensive side where all of his offers have been.
"I'm going to be playing the 3-technique in a 3-4 defense," he explained. "My sophomore year I played guard and last year I was All-State at offensive tackle, so I'm excited to be able to mostly play defensive tackle. My goal [for next season] is to stay in the backfield making sacks and tackles for loss. We have some talent returning so I'd love to make another run to state."
Johnson's recruiter at Arkansas State is Casey Woods. He said teammate, Stanley Higgins, a defensive end, came with him to the camp and is also being recruited by the Red Wolves staff. After the football season, Johnson competed on the power lifting team. His best exercise is squatting with a max of 550 pounds. He wears No. 55 for Starkville Yellowjackets football for head coach Jamie Mitchell.