Missouri's Johnson Set For IU Visit

Eureka, Mo., linebacker Sam Johnson is back on the market, and Indiana has plenty of interest.

Eureka, Mo., linebacker Sam Johnson is back on the market, and Indiana has plenty of interest.

Johnson is a 6-2, 220-pound linebacker/fullback from Eureka (Mo.) H.S. who originally verballed to Ole Miss in the spring. That offer has since fallen through, making Scout.com's 56th-ranked linebacker nationally fair game to the Hoosiers and a handful of other programs who have rekindled their interest.

Johnson will be making his first official visit next weekend (Dec. 10) when he makes the trip to Bloomington for an official to IU. While Indiana's efforts have risen dramatically since word surfaced that Johnson wasn't destined for Ole Miss, it has had interest for some time.

"That was probably the first school that I got a letter from," said Johnson, who added that IU first started sending letters during his sophomore season. "I started talking to the coaches this year, a couple of weeks ago. It's a school that I'm definitely considering."

Those talks led to Johnson finalizing an official visit to IU for the weekend of Dec. 9-11. He's also slated to visit Kansas in early January, and he said he's also looking at Michigan State, Louisville and Arkansas State. He said Michigan State offered him last season, and he believes he has an IU offer as well. He said Louisville told him it would offer if he comes to its campus for an official visit.

With his senior season now concluded and the recruiting process well underway, Johnson said he doesn't necessarily have a list of things he's looking for when he begins making his visits. Instead, he'll take a look at the schools and the programs and see what jumps out to him during his visits.

"I probably won't really know what I'm looking for until after I take the visits," said Johnson. "I'm just looking for somewhere to play."

Judging by his high school production, there's little doubt Johnson will be able to make an impact wherever he winds up. He missed a couple of games midway through the season with an ankle injury, but still managed to lead his team to an 8-3 record and a district championship as a two-way standout.

Offensively, Johnson rushed for 959 yards and 14 touchdowns on 168 carries, and on defense he totaled a team-best 70 tackles, including 42 solo stops. He added a pair of sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery while spending the majority of his time at middle linebacker. That comes on the heels of his junior season when he totaled 1,328 yards and 16 touchdowns on offense and 97 tackles on defense.

While he was productive on both sides of the ball, it's on the defensive side where Johnson is expected to be a factor at the collegiate level.

"Most schools are talking about defense," said Johnson. "I'm quick, but I probably don't have Division I, breakaway speed as a tailback, so I think I'll be playing linebacker."

That's just fine with him, and he's already begun working out to get ready for the college game.

"Now that the season is over, I'm done with high school football and I want to get bigger and stronger and get ready for college football," said Johnson.

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