Will Johnson and Roger Allison

Two of the top five instate prospects look to be Lake Orion teammates <B>Will Johnson</B> and <B>Roger Allison</B>. GBW visited them at their school this spring and watched them at the U-M Nike Camp. Tuesday we spoke to Roger and Will about their session with Tom Lemming in Ann Arbor Saturday, and about what lies ahead for them.

I talked first to linebacker Roger Allison (U-M Nike stats: 6-1.5, 229 lbs., 4.6 in the 40, 4.31 sec. shuttle, 31.2 inch vertical, 27 bench press reps.), who told me:

"One of Tom Lemming's employees called my house and invited me to come to Ann Arbor Saturday. Will (teammate DL Will Johnson) and I went together. Tom Lemming interviewed us, we talked to him about our favorite colleges, and he took pictures. There was no work-out or anything. Recruiting coordinator Bill Sheridan said hi to us, and Will and I spoke just briefly with Coach Carr. Coach Carr just said we looked good, and that he was looking forward to seeing us at camp. That was the first time I've met him, Will too."

Do you have a top five?

"Well, this isn't that firm, but I'd say Michigan, Penn State, Boston College, Nebraska, Purdue and Notre Dame. BC has offered me. And Toledo and Northwestern."

"We've had a lot of coaches come through the school. Will has some offers too."

Do you have camp plans?

"I'm going to the Michigan Camp the first two days, Monday and Tuesday."


Next I talked to the mother of Will Johnson, and then Will called me later in the night.

Note: it is a little hard to judge the linemen at a Nike Camp; they don't have a final drill to compare to the QB/WR/DB drill that is the culminating event of each camp. Still, one of the 2-3 defensive linemen in attendance who really passed the 'look test' was Will Johnson from Lake Orion, whose U-M Nike stats were: 6-4.5, 278 lbs, 5.15 in the 40 (the field turf surface made for slow 40 times), 30 bench press reps., 27.9 inch vertical, 4.56 sec. shuttle. And college coaches have taken notice. I spoke Tuesday evening to Will, and to his mother.

Mrs. Johnson told me:

"Will was quite overwhelmed by the attention after the Michigan Nike Camp, so was I. He's been getting a lot of attention. He has six or seven offers: Boston College, Northwestern, Michigan State, Penn State, Indiana, Purdue. The offers have been impressive, overhelming."

As far as schools Will has visited so far:

"We've been to Michigan State -- we saw their facilities and academic center. And to Purdue -- we received a lot of attention there, we met with academic advisors, we saw the business college and were given materials explaining what they require to get in."

"Will has been by himself to Penn State, Michigan, and Penn State."

What's coming up for Will:

"We'll go to Michigan again sometime in the next few weeks, before the school year is out. We'll look at the school from an academic standpoint, to see what's on campus, and what Michigan offers."

"This summer we'll go to Michigan again, for camp, and to Michigan State again -- I graduated from MSU."

"Will met with Coach Carr Saturday, who asked if he was going to camp. He is, and when the Michigan coach (Coach Sheridan) called he said I should make myself available during camp week, that I shouldn't go out of town that week. He said Michigan has a procedure for offering a scholarship, that they take it seriously and slow. He said he was recruited in high school, and so he takes things carefully so as not to lead kids on or give them false hopes."

Regarding Will as a 'sleeper' prospect:

"Will started out slower, he didn't even start at the beginning of last season. He's build confidence and he's worked hard, running, weight lifting. He's got a lot of natural ability. He's throwing the shot-put now, he's never done that before. 49-8 is his best toss, he working on 50. He has the Holly Invitational coming up, where he hopes to qualify for the state tournament."

Later when Will called, he gave me this report.

Regarding the session with Lemming:

"Tom Lemming called me and said to bring my uniform. He interview each of us, and he took individual and group photos. While I was waiting around for things to start I spoke to Coach Carr for a second. He said he was interested, and hoped I was coming to camp."

So what about camps?

"I am going to the Michigan camp, on Monday and Tuesday. And maybe also the Michigan State, Penn State and Purdue camps. When Coach Sheridan called me on the phone he said to bring my mom in on the Tuesday of camp. And Coach Herrmann was at the school last week Monday."

Who are your favorites?

"Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State. All have offered me except Michigan. Northwestern, Indiana and Boston College have offered me too."

What position do you think you'll play in college?

"D-line or O-line. I'll probably start at defensive line, but I wouldn't mind playing offensive line either."

Note: Johnson also has an excellent 3.8 GPA.

Will Johnson and Lake Orion Coach Chris Bell

Roger Allison and Coach Bell

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