Michigan State (MSU) is looking for big-bodied offensive linemen in the class of 2018, and it is no secret. Most recently, the staff extended an offer to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 6’7”, 345 pound offensive tackle, Justin Johnson, a three-star recruit. His offer from the Spartans marks his 14th offer, adding to his list that includes Wisconsin, Pittsburg, Virginia, Maryland, Rutgers, and others. Justin spoke with Spartan Nation right after announcing his offer on Thursday.
Although receiving an offer from MSU came as no surprise to Justin, the offer was a tremendous honor for the rising junior. “Coach Staten was the coach that offered me”, he said, “it was about a 2 week discussion. He reached out and talked to me about how he loved my highlights but he wanted to watch a film from a whole game to see how I react on good and bad plays. He wanted to see if I'd give more or give up.” Coach Staten determined that Johnson’s full game film warranted an scholarship so the offer was extended. “We were speaking on the phone and he just happened to let me know I received an offer from MSU.”
Justin went on to speak of what the offer from MSU means to him, as he said, “It is an extreme honor. It is a program that has been dominating and getting the the Big Ten championship almost every year for the past five years and that shows that they're doing well.”
Speaking of the Spartans’ recent production on the offensive line, including a recent first-round pick in NFL All-Rookie offensive tackle Jack Conklin, Justin explained, “It means they're an offensive line school. They produce premier offensive linemen and help them advance from what they were like in high school. They just give their guys the essentials to go further on with football.” As do the majority of highly touted high school athletes, Justin aims to play in the NFL, and he knows that MSU can help him achieve that goal.
It’s very difficult not to notice Justin first when watching Imhotep Institute film. His frame and strength are very attractive to all schools that have offered him thus far. “I'd say my strengths are run blocking and getting up to the second level and finishing nonstop. I'd say my weakness is my pass protection, I have to work on my footwork and hand placement to just develop more.” The Spartans could benefit greatly Justin’s presence on the offensive line.
Justin already has an idea of what his future visit plans look like. “I will try to visit MSU as soon as possible, I have to!” Besides his interest in the Spartans Justin also spoke of what other schools stand out. “All the schools that have offered me stand out. All are phenomenal on the academic side and are also good athletic programs. I’m just grateful to have an offer from all of them,” said Justin, “all the schools are neutral to me. I have to look more in the academic side of things.”
Scout rates Justin Johnson a tree-star offensive tackle. Spartan Nation will continue to stay up-to-date with Justin as he visits MSU and other schools.