Commitment corner: Shamar Johnson

Louisville currently has nine football commitments for the Class of 2013. Cardinal Authority will check in with those prospects heading into the new season. The next prospect we chat with is Shamar Johnson.

Pensacola, Fla., Pine Forest offensive lineman Shamar Johnson made a verbal commitment to play football at Louisville in early May.

Johnson said since then other schools have bombarded him, trying to get him to look their way and make the switch.

But the 6-foot-6, 259-pound Johnson said heading into his senior season the Cardinals are still the team to beat in his recruiting process.

"I am still committed to Louisville, and I have much love for them," Johnson said. "It's like a second home to me and the way they treat me.

"I really want to go to Louisville but I just feel it's best to keep my options open some. I think like the week after the season, I'll know for sure."

Johnson said he still keeps in close contact with Louisville and noted Kentucky, Florida International and Florida Atlantic were the other schools in the mix.

He said he's playing tight end this season for Pine Forest and noted many of the schools are recruiting him for that position. U of L wants him as a lineman.

"I talked to coach (Ron) Dugans about tight end and he told they want me for a tackle because they know how well I can move as a big person," Johnson said. "I am big but I am also pretty quick. We'll just have to wait and see."

Johnson said for now, he's preparing for the season and the new position. He's dropped about 35 pounds in the offseason and ran a 4.8 40-yard dash.

He went to Florida'S Friday Night Lights recently and performed well.

"I love it at tight end," he said. "It's a big move for me but I had to change up my ways of football. I had to get smaller and faster.

"I played basketball and the coaches said they were thinking about moving me to tight end, so I told myself I had to lose some weight. I feel great. I lost a lot of baby fat but they said I am the right size for a tight end."

One recent twist in the recruiting process happened when Johnson's cousin, Corey Cooper, committed to Louisville last week. He's a wide receiver from North Carolina.

Johnson said the two were born in New Haven, Conn., but his family moved to South Carolina and later to Florida, while Cooper's family to North Carolina.

"We were really close when we were little, so that's a big factor," Johnson said. "Our grandma talks about us reuniting and being together.

"We're going to a family reunion soon, so we'll have to talk about it all."

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