Johnny Sears: "I'm a Wolverine no Matter What."

2005 Michigan signee Johnny Sears started at cornerback for the City in the 51st Annual Fresno City/County All-Star Football Game Friday night at Buchanan Stadium in Clovis, Calif. Before the game, spoke with Sears and his coach about his plans for Michigan.

Johnny Sears Profile

Defensive back Johnny Sears only played one year of varsity ball, yet his performance during the season earned him a starting spot on the City team in the 51st Annual Fresno City/County All-Star Football Game played Friday at Buchanan Stadium in Clovis, Calif. The top players from Fresno city and county, as well as ajoining Madera county, are represented. Six players, including Sears, were chosen from Fresno powerhouse Edison.

Defensive back Johnny Sears of Edison High School in Fresno, during the 51st Annual Fresno City/County All-Star Football Game played Friday at Buchanan Stadium in Clovis, Calif.
The City team wasted no time making their statement for a fourth-straight win in the series as quarterback Arkelon Hall of Edison marched his squad down the field on their first possession of the game, culminating in a 1-yard dive by fellow Tiger Dalen Mason. City eventually took a 21-0 lead into the halftime locker room. It was enough as they held off a resurgent County team in the second half for a 21-10 victory.

Sears, who has yet to qualify for entrance into Michigan, recently took the ACT test. Edison defensive backs coach Tony Perry told that his young star needs to raise his score by only two points in order to qualify. However, other preperations have been made if the needed test score is not achieved. "He is all set to enroll in a prep school in Connecticut if he doesn't make it," Perry said. "He'll study there for six months, then enroll in Michigan in January."

Often times, when a student/athlete fails to qualify for enrollment at his first school of choice, other programs enter into the equation. Sears did visit Oregon State towards the end of recruiting season. Will he open things up? "I'm going to do whatever it takes to get into Michigan," he said. "There are no other options for me, I'm a Wolverine no matter what."

Though Sears is having some difficulties with regards to his qualifications, it is not entirely the result of poor classwork. Michigan fans will remember that Sears missed a portion of his teams summer workouts last year as the result of a burst appendix. That event also caused him to miss his entire final exam schedule at the end of his junior year. "It happened right at the end," he said. "I was laid up for a while, and only one teacher was going to let me take their final later. All the others said I needed to take summer classes. I was sick by the time summer school started, so I couldn't do it." Sears said he made up the credits during his senior year. Attempting to fit in a heavy course load with football, basektball, and track made his senior year a trying experience, he said. Now he awaits the results of his ACT.

Sears watches the action from the City bench. He said that regardless of the results of his ACT score, "I'm a Wolverine, no matter what."
When GBW first met Sears late last summer, the effects of the appendicitis were apparent. He weighed in under 170-pounds. On a 6-foot-2 frame he appeared thin as a rail. However, he has since put on 15 pounds and his a sturdy and well-built athlete once again. One aspect that caught our attention last year was his blazing fast speed. Such speed made up for his lack of understanding of the cornerback position. If a receiver got by him, he turned on the afterburners and quickly made up ground. Of course, he won't facing high school competition on the next level, and won't enjoy the luxury of time. Now at 185, has the weight gain slowed him down? Let's relate one play from last night's game for an answer.

Sears also played the outside man on the punt team. During the third quarter, City punted, and Sears raced down the field toward the County return man - Lamar Grier of Madera. Grier stepped to the side after making the catch, eluding the oncoming Sears at about the 25-yard line. Sears slowed up as the Grier raced up field. Suddently realizing that the he was breaking free, Sears turned on the jets - still at about the 25 - and raced after the Grier, who was now around the 45-yard line. No City player was able to catch the streaking Grier, who raced past the defenders and looked to be headed towards the end zone. However, roaring past his beaten City teammates, Sears not only caught Grier, he was able to lay an impressive hit upon the stunned player at the 13. Needless to say, Sears showed he hasn't lost any speed with his weight gain.

As if to add an exclamation point to the ability of Sears as a defender, the County team had been avoiding his side of the field the entire evening. After the chase and catch, Sears came up with a dinged shoulder and sat out the ensuing play. County jumped on the opportunity and immediately called a play off the right tackle, which resulted in the first, and only, County touchdown. County threw one pass in Sears' direction the entire game, and a perfect throw and catch resulted in a completion. On the night, Sears finished the night with two tackles.

To view the Johnny Sears photo gallery from Friday's game, click here.

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