Army number one for Johnson

The Army coaches received an early Christmas present when Michael Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound offensive lineman from the western Chicago suburb of Hinsdale, Ill., gave his verbal commitment, on Monday, December 22nd. Only a few weeks after Johnson received his first D-1 offer from Army's recruiting coordinator, Tucker Waugh, he knew he was ready to make the pledge.

Mike Johnson Bio

"This morning I let coach Waugh know I wanted to commit," Johnson said to ArmySports.com. "I told him that Army was my number one school and I didn't see that changing by signing day no matter who else were to offer me and that I'd like to go ahead and I'd like to verbally commit to the program.

"Ever since I was a little kid I've been interested in military service. To get the opportunity to do that at a place like West Point is unbelievable. I'll get to play top-of-the-line D-1 football and, after four years in college, then be able to serve my country. It's a dream come true for me.

"It all started when I sent in my senior film, then started talking with Coach Waugh around mid-October. Then the offer came in at the end of November. They like, most of all, that I'm a tenacious run blocker. Since Army is a school that will be running the ball predominately with their triple option attack, they feel like I'm well-suited for the offense. They're saying I'll probably play center, a position I haven't played in high school, but I'm certainly willing to go in and learn.

"The word that comes to mind right now is 'relief'. It's a big relief to know that the recruiting process is over. It can be stressful and sometimes crazy at times. It's not set in stone yet because I still need to get my application response. I'm close to being done I just have to go for my physical exam. I'm not certain, right now if I'll be going to USMAPS or direct next year. I'm not sure if the coaches want me to go through a redshirt year at the prep school or come in and compete right away. I'd say right now I'm leaning toward prep.

"I'm looking forward to attending West Point. My grandfather and my uncle both served in the military and I've heard all of their great stories, but it's all going to be new for me personally. I haven't been to campus yet, but I'll be taking my official in January.

Johnson started the season at left tackle but moved to left guard in week three. He led his team to an 8-3 record and to the second round of the Illinois 8A playoffs. At the post-season award banquet, Johnson picked up All-Area honorable mention honors and was named a team captain. While Army was his only offer at the D-1 level, he was being recruited by Western Illinois and Drake.

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