Sears: "There's Only One Me"

With his first game as a varsity player quickly approaching, defensive back <b>Johnny Sears</b> from Edison High School in Fresno, Calif. has already committed to play his college ball at Michigan. Why would one of the top football programs in the land offer a player before he ever played a down at the top high school level? <br><br> GoBlueWolverine Magazine ventured over to Fresno on Friday to get a first hand look as Edison took on Bakersfield in a pre-season scrimmage.

There will be a more in-depth scouting report and interview in the October issue of GoBlueWolverine, The Magazine, but we'll give you a little teaser on what Michigan fans have to look forward to when defensive back Johnny Sears from Fresno Edision High School begins his first season at the varsity level. GoBlueWolverine made the trek over to Fresno this past Friday to get an up-close look at Sears during his first action since he committted to Michigan.

The first thing one notices is that Sears is long and rangy, something Edison head football coach Tim McDonald said is the bane of receivers. "He has long arms," McDonald said. "And in my experience the one thing receivers hate is a defensive back with long arms and speed, Johnny has both." McDonlad should know, as a 7-time Pro Bowl selection during a 13 year NFL career at safety with the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers he's seen his fair share of top receivers. "Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, even Roy Green from way back, they've all told me that's the number one trait they don't want to see in a d-back."

During pre-scrimmage warm ups Sears exhibited the raw talents that Michigan defensive back coach Ron English, whose recruiting responsibilities for the Wolverines include California, could wait to develop, hence the reason for the offer without seeing him in action at the varsity level. "Johnny impressed a lot of people at the Fresno camp," Edison defensive backs coach Tony Perry said. "Then he went up to the Stanford Nike camp and really did well, he was one of the top defensive backs at the camp. It wasn't too long after that camp when Michigan offered. He's always dreamed of going to Michigan so he accepted right away."

Sears missed spring practice when he went in for an emergency appendectomy. As a result he lost weight and, of course, fitness. When GBW first met Sears shortly after his surgery he had dropped from 170 to almost 160 pounds. Now, the 6 foot 0 prodigy has regained the weight and then some. "That's my main goal," he said. "I just want to get in shape and gain some more weight. I feel pretty good now."

McDonald was a little more reserved on the fitness of his budding star. "He's not quite at 100 percent yet," he said. "We want to use him on offense and defense but the fitness just isn't there yet. It will take time but he'll get there." Confidence is certainly not an issue with Sears. he sports a tatoo on his left arm that says it all. "There's only one me."

Sears showed he is a raw talent. While the speed and footwork are certianly apparent, he'll need the tutoring available to him both at Edison and at Michigan to reach his full potential. Barrin any injuries or other mishaps, that should be a foregone conclusion for this sleeper from California.


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