Micah Johnson's 1st Two Finalists, Real Priorities

Linebacker Micah Johnson of Ft. Campbell, Ky., High School has two schools picked for his final list. However, the joy of picking a college will almost certainly be tempered with the more important priorities facing the son of a U.S. Army officer in this time of war. GoBlueWolverine.com spoke with Johnson regarding the emotional swings facing him this fall.

Football fans and players rejoice in throwing out military phrases equating football with combat. We often hear players and coaches talk about the "battles in the trenches" and how their players "are going to war". One player recently proclaimed he was a f..... soldier after one contest. Of course, for these so-called warriors, everyone goes home after the game. However, for one football player -- linebacker Micah Johnson of Ft. Campbell, Ky., High School -- those kinds of statements are a far more significant, and accurate, truism when describing one member of his family. "My dad is a lieutenant colonel in the Army and is being deployed to Iraq in September," Johnson told GoBlueWolverine.com. "He is a combat soldier and will be there a year. He'll miss my senior season and Signing Day. He has been, and will continue to be, very much a part of my decision even though he will be away."

Johnson is no stranger to military life by any means. His father is a career officer and has been a soldier since before Micah was born. He's also been away before. "We learn to deal with it the best way we can," he said. "My family is close and we support each other. This time it's hard because he's going to the war."

With his father going off to war, the family must go on with life here at home. So, on the other end of the emotional pendulum, the 6-foot-2, 253-pound defensive standout has picked two schools to be a part of his final list of five. "Michigan and Georgia are two schools that will definitely be in my final five," he said. "I'm not sure of the other three; schools come and go. I want to get something set by the time my season starts and then take my official visits. I won't decide until after I've taken my visits, so it will probably be after the season."

For Johnson, Michigan and Georgia have similarities. "Both schools are loaded with tradition," he said. "They also both have needs at linebacker. Coach Herrmann told me I was the best linebacker he's seen this year." He said both schools are recruiting him for linebacker. He is the No. 10 player in the nation according to Scout.com, and is listed as the No. 1 defensive tackle, though he insists he will play the linebacker spot in college.

Johnson said he made it to the Kentucky camp but no others, and will not take any unofficial visits during the summer. He said his mom would accompany him on his official visit to either Michigan or Georgia, though no date has been set for either. "Michigan really wants my mom to come up with me, but it will depend one when I go and whether she can come with me."

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