Corey Johnson Hoping Recruiting Turns Around

This was supposed to be the year that Corey Johnson stamped himself as the State's premier receiver, but after two star-like performances early in the season, Johnson saw his stats and his opportunities dwindle.

MUSKEGON - This was supposed to be the year that Corey Johnson stamped himself as the State's premier receiver, following in the footsteps of older brother Ronald, a standout freshman at the University of Southern California.

Johnson had already pledged his commitment to John L. Smith and the Michigan State Spartans and the future looked so bright that it was blinding.

But things turned quickly.

John L. Smith was fired as Michigan State head coach and new head coach Mark Dantonio recinded all the scholarship offers and reopened the recruiting process of each player.

Still, it seemed the younger Johnson was headed for East Lansing. Especially after a week one breakout performance where he caught four balls for 74 yards and three touchdowns against Grand Rapids Creston.

He followed that up with a sensational performance against Grand Haven. He made six catches for 141 yards including a 70-yard TD reception.

But Johnson saw his stats and his opportunities dry up as the season went along. He got just two balls in a loss to Rockford and then three balls in a blowout win over Hudsonville, a team that would come back to eliminate the Big Reds in the State playoffs.

"When the new (Michigan State) staff came in, they said they had to re-evaluate things, so to be honest, I don't know if the offer is still on the table or not, someone told me that they still wanted me, but I'm not sure."

What's causing the lack of communication?

Johnson said "I haven't been calling them but they've been sending a lot of mail, still I'm not sure how interested in me they are."

Johnson said right now "I'm just keeping my options open and just waiting for the right college that fits my skills the best to step up and offer me."

The 6-foot, 190-pound receiver says right now he has no offers, at least that he knows of. There appears to be a disconnect between Johnson and the Muskegon coaching staff. If any team is trying to contact him through the staff, he isn't hearing about it.

There has been widespread speculation in the Muskegon community, with several emails to GSN, that the Muskegon coaching staff was not happy with the decision of Corey's brother Ronald, to attend USC and maybe that is affecting Corey's status.

Johnson said he's heard those rumors, but he couldn't say for sure whether that affected his senior season.

"I mean, it was kind of rough. I thought my coach would get me the ball, but I guess they weren't looking my way like that. I guess they were trying to get other players involved this season. I guess that's how it is, there's nothing I can do about it, so I'm just trying to move on."

Does he think Ronald's decision to go to USC is having a backlash effect on him?

"I want to say yeah, but I'm going to say no. It seems like there was a lot of 'why did he go to this school instead of that school' or some other school. It seemed like they were happy for him, but then again, they took it a little bit out on me, so I'm kinda second guessing myself on that."

Johnson's hoping that the Michigan State coaching staff would take another look at his junior season and the games he had this year when he did get balls thrown his way and give him a second look.

"I don't remember (the last time I talked to Michigan State), it wasn't this season though, I talked to Harlon Barnett about school and stuff like that, but that's it."

Johnson said he has a great feeling about the school, the campus and everything about Michigan State. What if they were to re-offer him?

"I would say 'yes', if I had a chance to go there again."

Corey said he flew to Los Angeles to watch Ronald in USC's season opener and has gotten to know quite a few of the Trojan players, but isn't in a position to walk-on there. He needs a scholarship to attend college.

He says he's still hoping for some offers to come his way, including from East Lansing. Until then Johnson plans to hit the books, finish out his senior year, keep training and working out and hope that things turn in his favor.

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