Is Michigan In, or Out, With LB Micah Johnson?

Linebacker Micah Johnson of Fort Campbell, Ky., had listed the University of Michigan at or near the top of his favorites since the beginning. However, recent reports have failed to mention the Wolverines. spoke Monday with Johnson to see if, in fact, he had dropped Michigan.

As the top high school player in the state of Kentucky, linebacker Micah Johnson has his pick of upper echelon Division 1-A schools from which to pick. He reports over 30 offers so far. From the beginning of his recruitment, USC, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Penn State, Auburn, and the home state schools of Louisville and Kentucky have been at or near the top of his list. He's also mentioned Michigan as being one of the five schools that he'll officially visit this fall. A recent report left Michigan off his list. On Monday, spoke with Johnson.

"I get a lot of calls from a lot of different people asking me who my favorites are," he said. "I don't really have my list narrowed down to a top five yet. I would say the top 10 are Michigan, Penn State, Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Auburn, Virginia, and Ohio State. All of them have offered."

He added, "I've always liked Michigan. They have always been at the top of the list of schools that I am looking at. I just spoke with Coach Herrmann last week."

He has a brother playing at Kentucky, but said he is not swayed by that. "I really don't have any close ties to anywhere," he said. "My parents are supportive with whatever decision I make."

The 6-foot-2, 257-pound Johnson said most of the schools, including Michigan, are recruiting him for the linebacker position. However, two schools like his size and ability as a running back. "Auburn and Ohio State told me I could play running back if I wanted," he said. "They said it was completely up to me. I like linebacker a lot, but I also like playing running back."

As far as summer plans, Johnson said he would camp at Louisville and Kentucky, but was unsure of others. He added that Fort Campbell will begin its summer passing league schedule on June 4.

Johnson said he would make his decision after he has taken all of his official visits.

In only six games during his junior campaign, Johnson ran for over 1200-yards and scored 17 touchdowns. On defense he had a whopping 173 tackles.

Johnson recently touched on Arkansas, LSU, Penn State, Louisville, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky with Jamie Newberg of

"I have had some great talks with the Arkansas coaches. They seem like they are a class act all the way around. They told me they want to build their defense around me and they really talk up the education part of college. They seem like they prepare you for the next level and for life after football and that's important.

"LSU is a place with a great defensive line and you need a great defensive line to be a great linebacker because those are the guys that free you up to make plays. I also like their coaching staff.

"I love Joe Paterno at Penn State. What a legacy he has there. I also like Jay (Paterno). It's been impressive that they have been able to attract some of the best recruits. I have been up there for a combine and I was impressed with their facilities.

"Louisville is a school near home and that could be important. They also want to play me at running back and they have a track record with big back like (Eric) Shelton and (Michael) Bush.

"People don't know it but I was actually born in Columbus, Georgia and I like Georgia. They have a great team and lots of talent. They are also recruiting very well and they just picked up one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Matthew Stafford. They are doing something right down there and I like that staff too.

"Tennessee is close to home too. I think that is one team where I could have lots of playing options. Tennessee has a great tradition and the support they get is just ridiculous. That's a great school.

"Kentucky is a team that has a lot of good young players and I think they will progress this season and sneak up on a lot of teams. Plus, I have a brother there (Christian – defensive tackle). He was at Hargrave Military School last year."

Johnson has had a busy spring. "I'm getting ready for the state track meet," he said. "I'm going to state in the shot-put and I'm the alternate on the 4X100 relay team." What's impressive about his entry as a shot-putter is that this is the first season in which he has participated in the event. He reports a distance of 49-1/2 feet as his best put. "If they let me do that in college that's fine, but it's no big deal," he said.

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