Bloomington, Ind. – It wasn't the camp or even the campus that stood out the most to Darius Johnson during a visit to the IU football program last week.
Instead, it was a sit down conversation with IU Coach Terry Hoeppner that delivered the biggest message to the 5-11, 219-pound linebacker from Highland Park, Mich.
"He told me how much he wanted me, and welcomed me with open arms," Johnson said. "For me, sitting down for a one-on-one and hearing from a head coach let's me know how badly they want me. That means a lot."
Johnson was one of three players with IU scholarship offers who was in Bloomington last week for a Senior Camp that featured approximately 20 preps. Others in town with IU offers were 6-1, 185-pound cornerback Chris Rucker from Warren (Ohio) Harding H.S. and Scott Johnson, a 5-10, 187-pound running back/linebacker from Middleton, Ohio.
Indications are the Hoosiers are very high on each players' list. Rucker said over the weekend the Hoosiers are in his top three, along with Miami (Ohio) and Cincinnati.
"I like the campus and the staff (at Indiana)," Rucker said. "I have a teammate already committed there (Sidney Glover), and that's a big plus for them."
Scott Johnson, meanwhile, is a new name to emerge as an IU target. He totaled 90 tackles a year ago on a team that went 3-7, and he'll go both ways this season when he plays running back for his prep team. He has sub 4.4 speed in the 40, and could wind up playing a variety of positions on the defensive side of the ball at the college level.
Both Darius Johnson and Rucker have indicated they'd like to make their college choices before the start of their senior seasons later this month. Darius Johnson has his sights set on leading his Highland Park Community School to a state championship after he helped them to a 12-1 record and a berth in the state semifinals a season ago by rushing for 2,293 yards and 30 touchdowns. Defensively, he added 93 tackles and five sacks while playing linebacker.
Those kind of numbers have him considering a plethora of schools, including Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Illinois, Cincinnati and a handful of MAC schools.
While he's been a highly-productive player at the prep level and a coveted player by a slew of programs around the Midwest, it's not just football that will weigh on his mind when he eventually makes his choice.
"For the major I want, I've heard (Indiana) is top five," Darius Johnson said. "I'm looking for a school that fits me in terms of my major, and right now that's Indiana."
Three IU Targets In Bloomington
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