DB Commit Johnny Sears Shines on Offense

Once again GoBlueWolverine Magazine made the trek to Grizzley Stadium to watch the Edison Tigers from Fresno, Calif. and their talented Michigan commit <b>Johnny Sears</b>. We've seen him at practice, we've seen him on defense, this time he showcased his skills as a wide receiver.

As GoBlueWolverine Magazine subscribers know, defensive back Johnny Sears from Edison High School in Fresno, Calif. committed to Michigan without having played a down of varsity ball. In this months issue of GoBlueWolverine, The Magazine, GBW goes into detail about how that entire process played itself out. We've also been over to Fresno on several occasions to see the young man play, and it seems the chance the Michigan staff took in offering this talented player is going to pay off. Sears has the raw skills to excel on the college level.

Last week he played mostly on defense against rival Clovis East in a disappointing 20-7 loss. While Edison head coach Tim McDonald told GBW before the season that while he wanted to get Sears on the field as a wide receiver, it would be a slow process as Sears re-gained his optimal form after missing summer drills following an appendectomy. And Sears wasn't used on offense until the final minutes of the game, when Edison needed points. Sears didn't let his coach down, making several catches, including a spectacular grab where he was flipped over by the defender and landed on his head. The catch was awarded "Play of the Week" honors by the Fresno Bee.

This week Edison lined up agains Hoover High from Fresno. Coach McDonald told GBW before the game that we would finally get to see the speedster at the wide receiver position. McDonald said it would surprise him if Sears played the position in college, and that we were in for a treat.

Edison went on to handily whip the Patriots 33-0, but the game wasn't pretty. As they did the previous week, the Tigers coughed the ball up three times on fumbles, and although his team won McDonald was not happy with the performance. "We cannot continue to turn the ball over and expect to win," he said. "We had three fumbles (Friday) and won. We had three last week and lost."

How did Sears look at the receiver spot? His first attempt was 15-yard crossing pattern where he put a move on the defender to get open. Sears showed his quickness by leaving the DB where he stood. Unfortunately he pass was thrown behind him and fell incomplete.

Sears went on to have 3 completions on the evening. While he has good hands, it is what he does after the catch that is so impressive. One is reminded of Steve Breaston from the 2003 season when watching Sears move. His footwork is impressive for someone in their first year of varsity ball. He has long legs and is able to shift and change direction on the spot. He views the entire area in front of him and has an uncanny knack of finding the open area, then darting to take advantage of the opportunity before it disappears.

Sears also returned punts for the first time Friday and showed off his quickness there as well. On the first Hoover punt he started left, saw that the lane was closed and reversed direction, turning on the after-burners to make a loss into an long return.

He did show the ability to move well, but there are still things in his game that need work. Size is one: at 6 foot 0, 175-pounds Sears will need to put on some weight at the next level. He has the frame to add another 10-15 pounds. The next area of improvement is in his footwork. "We've been working with him a lot on his footwork," defensive backs coach Tony Perry said. "He's getting a lot better, but one thing (Ron) English has told us is to get his foot movement good; he can work on the rest."

Although Hoover High wasn't the stiffest competition, once again Sears showed the raw talents Coach English saw during the summer. The next few games will offer more challenging opposition as Edison faces Bullard on Friday. After a visit to Reedly the Tigers will travel to Sanger, which the Edison staff says will be the big game of the year. They also said they will have a visitor for that game, Michigan Coach Ron English.

We'll have photos of Sears posted later today.

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