Johnson Talks About IU Official

Eureka, Mo., linebacker Sam Johnson talks about his official visit to IU this weekend.

With his Indiana official visit now under his belt, Missouri linebacker Sam Johnson still has a couple more visits to take, and some work to do.

That's what he found out in Bloomington this past weekend, as he was one of six players to make his official visit to Coach Terry Hoeppner's program over the weekend. The 6-2, 220-pounder from Eureka, Mo., spent the wintry weekend touring IU's facilities, taking a closer looking at Indiana's defense, and meeting with IU's academic staff, among other things.

Johnson said he came away impressed with what the IU program had to offer, while also understanding that he'll have to make sure he keeps his grades in order to be able to play football at the Division I level next fall.

"I have to get some grade requirements and stuff to get there, I'd have to take another summer school class which I'm going to take, just in case," said Johnson.

But assuming he does the work in the classroom, it appears Indiana is a very viable option for Scout.com's 56th-ranked linebacker nationally.

"I liked IU this weekend – I went there this weekend, and it was cool," said Johnson. "They're good, and I liked what I saw. I talked to the coaches, learned about the defense, toured the facilities, all that stuff you usually do on visits."

Indiana has a pressing need at linebacker in this year's recruiting class. The Hoosiers lose John Pannozzo, Kyle Killion and Josh Moore, and they've received a commitment from only linebacker thus far – Indianapolis' Will Patterson.

Johnson is certainly a player the IU staff would like to welcome into the mix. He recently helped Eureka H.S. to an 8-3 record, totaling 70 tackles, two sacks and an interception despite missing a couple of games with an ankle injury. He was also a key to the team's offensive success, running for 959 yards on 168 carries, including 14 touchdowns.

Time will tell, but Johnson could wind up joining Patterson in Bloomington as well. He's a versatile defender who could play any of the three linebacker spots.

"I'm fine playing wherever they want, inside or outside," said Johnson. "I think they like me at outside linebacker, but if I get bigger they might want to move me inside. Even safety is a possibility – you never know.

"But I think they like me at linebacker. They have a 4-3, and they give their linebackers room to do a lot of stuff. I guess if I go there, I'll be doing a lot of stuff."

Time will tell if he'll be playing his college football in Bloomington. He still has official visits in January scheduled for Kansas and Michigan State, so a final decision is likely still at least a month away.

"Whatever works out, works out," said Johnson.

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