Michael Johnson on his decision to commit to the Arkansas State Red Wolves

Juco safety on his decision to choose Arkansas State

All it took for defensive back Michael Johnson to change his commitment was the words of Arkansas State secondary coach Allen Johnson.

“All of the coaches were cool and they were different,’’ said Johnson, who attends Mount San Antonio in Walnut, Calif. “But coach Johnson told me he would make me a better man, a better student athlete and a better football player.

“You can play football anywhere. But I need coaches to make me a better person.


“Getting closer to home also played a role. It will be nice for my family to get and come see me play.”

Johnson, who signed with Louisville out of high school, was a Nevada commit until Saturday night. He made a pledge to the A-State coaches, along with Fullerton (Calif.) JC defensive back Jovon Burris and offensive lineman Jaypee Philbert, a grad transfer from Iowa State.

He notified the coaches in Reno of his choice. He made is his commitment public in Monday.

“It was sorta hard to tell them but then again it wasn’t because I knew I was making the best decision for me,’’ he said

Johnson attended Champagnat Catholic High School in Hialeah, Fla., where he was a teammate of Red Wolves wide receiver Kendrick Edwards, who sat out this season and will be eligible in the fall.

“He told me it was a nice town and the people there will always have your back and that is good to know. The coaches and the teams are close together.”

Johnson said the Red Wolves want him to play safety. He graduates in May and will report to Jonesboro in June.

Johnson was selected as Southern California Football Association National Division Central, Defensive Player of the Year. He led the conference in interceptions with 6 and was seventh in pass break ups.

“I decided to go to college in California because it was the best junior college conference in the nation,’’ he said. “I wanted to play against the best.”

The Red Wolves started recruiting Johnson in December.

“I knew about Arkansas State before they started recruiting me,’’ he said. “But now I know a whole lot more. I’m impressed with what they do on defense.”

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