VAUGHT: Micah Johnson speaks on UK connection

He already knows he'll use one of his five official visits to take a trip to defending national champion Southern California. He also just got a call from Louisville coach Bobby Petrino Wednesday telling him that he could the powerful tailback the Cardinals need in their high-powered offense.

He already knows he'll use one of his five official visits to take a trip to defending national champion Southern California. He also just got a call from Louisville coach Bobby Petrino Wednesday telling him that he could the powerful tailback the Cardinals need in their high-powered offense.

But while college coaches from coast to coast line up for a chance to recruit Fort Campbell standout Micah Johnson, he still has connections to the University of Kentucky that will keep the Wildcats firmly in the recruiting chase.

The biggest factor in UK's favor is his brother, Christian, a recent UK signee.

"I am trying to look at like if he was not there, would I still have Kentucky in high regards," Johnson said. "But he is there and that's having a huge impact on me. Me and him are like best friends. It would be a difficult decision not to play with him, but he understands I have to go where I fit best. I do feel comfortable with Kentucky. Eveything is good from the school to the facilities to the coaches. Even if my brother wasn't there, Kentucky would be a good school for me."

Kentucky is also recruiting Nathaniel Johnson, a 220-pouund outside linebacker-strong safety playing in California.

"Right now he's looking at Kentucky and Michigan State. It would be something if all three of us got to play together," Micah Johnson said.

Former Fort Campbell players Marcus McClinton and Gabe Wallace both got to play as true freshmen lasts season. Johnson is friends with both. Kentucky is also recruiting Johnson's current teammate, Leonard Gordon.

"Leonard likes Kentucky, too," Johnson said. "They could have a lot of players I know, which makes a big difference."

He also grew up a fan of former UK running back Derek Homer, who played at Fort Knox when Johnson's family was there several years ago.

"He came to our house. We had a good relationship and I kept a good eye on him at Kentucky," Johnson said.

Will these UK connections be enough to get the state's top-rated prospect to sign with the Wildcats? Don't expect an early answer. Johnson will attend one combine, possibly in Mississippi, later this spring. He'll definitely go to UK's team camp -- Fort Campbell always does -- and may make another camp visit or two in the summer. He also definitely plans to take five official visits, probably after his high school season ends.

He's not going to rush his decision. He wants to weigh his options. He would probably prefer to play running back, but also knows his size, speed and power could make him a perfect linebacker.

"It really doesn't matter. I'm open on where I play depending on where I go," Johnson said.

So while Kentucky won't get an early commitment, the Cats are positioned well with a player that has to be at the top of their 2006 wish list.


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