Detroit Area RB/LB Tripping to IU

Higland Park (Mich.) High School standout Darius Johnson, a 2,000-yard rusher in each of the past two seasons, is expected in Bloomington within the next week to take a closer look at his current leader...

Two-way Detroit area standout Darius Johnson is about to take a closer look at his favorite thus far in the recruiting process, and that school is Indiana.

The 5-11, 219-pound tailback/linebacker from Highland Park Community School in Highland Park, Mich., plans on being in Bloomington in the not-too-distant future to get a first-hand look at Coach Terry Hoeppner's program.

"I'm making a trip down to Indiana in the next week to check it out," Johnson said. "I'm more worried about what kind of education I can get there than what the football program has to offer. My entire life everyone has told me to focus on school and the rest will take care of itself."

Indiana has emerged as Johnson's favorite early on because of the fact the Hoosiers were so quick to pull the trigger on a scholarship offer. Assistant Coach George Ricumstrict has been handling Johnson's recruitment, making a couple of trips by the Michigan school to get a first-hand look at the highly-productive player.

IU offered early this spring, and remains the only scholarship offer Johnson has to date. He said he continues to hear from other programs, including Illinois and Cincinnati, and a decision is likely still a ways off.

"Indiana is my favorite because the offered so early and the quality of education," Johnson said. "But I'm not deciding anytime soon. I'm thinking about waiting until my senior season is over so I won't have to worry about anything this summer or have distractions during the season."

Once he gets his senior season underway, Johnson will have his hands full eclipsing the numbers he put up a season ago. As a junior Johnson rushed for 2,293 yards and 30 touchdowns, helping his team to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the Division IV state semifinals. Last year's numbers enabled him to earn special mention All-State honors from the Associated Press along with All-League and All-Area honors, and gave him back-to-back 2,000-yard seasons.

"That's going to be tough to top, but I'm ready for the challenge," said Johnson, who has been clocked at 4.69 in the 40. "I'm working this summer on getting my speed up so I can be even more dangerous."

Of course, Johnson has proven to be equally dangerous on the defensive side of the ball. Johnson totaled 93 tackles and five sacks as a linebacker a season ago, and could very well end up being an intriguing prospect on the defensive side of the ball as well. Top Stories