Johnson Becomes Commit No. 6

With his senior season rapidly approaching and an Indiana scholarship offer there for the taking, Highland Park, Mich., linebacker Darius Johnson decided there was no reason to wait. Johnson became the sixth member of IU's '07 recruiting class Sunday.

With his senior season rapidly approaching and an Indiana scholarship offer there for the taking, Darius Johnson decided there was no reason to wait.

The 5-11, 215-pound linebacker from Highland Park, Mich., became the sixth member of IU's 2006 recruiting class when he informed the IU coaching staff Sunday he'd be playing in Bloomington next fall.

"I committed today," said Johnson, who is also a standout running back at Highland Park Community H.S. "Indiana had offered, and I wanted go ahead and get it out of the way so I can just focus on my senior season."

A two-star recruit according to Scout.com, Johnson is coming off a huge junior season, rushing for 2,293 yards and 30 touchdowns for a Highland Park H.S. team that went 12-1 and advanced the semifinals in the state playoffs. Defensively, he added 93 tackles and five sacks.

It's on defense where he'll play in Bloomington, and that's a spot that figures to offer an opportunity to play early for members of IU's '07 recruiting class. He joins Pittsburgh, Penn., standout Dane Conwell as linebackers in the IU class.

"They want to use me at linebacker, and they see some potential in me," Johnson said. "I'm just going down there to play. I'm hoping to come down and play my first year."

Johnson credited the job both IU Assistant Coach George Ricumstrict and IU Head Coach Terry Hoeppner did during the recruiting process. Ricumstrict was Johnson's primary recruiter, while Hoeppner sat down with Johnson during his trip to Bloomington for a Senior Day camp in late July.

"Me and Coach Ric, we have a real good bond," Johnson said. "He was real with me, and told me everything I need to do to get ready.

"(Hoeppner) told me how much he wanted me, and welcomed me with open arms. 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."

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