After observing a few Muskegon games last season, GoBlueWolverine's Josh Turel was extremely impressed with incoming Michigan freshman Terrance Taylor. However, every time he returned from a Big Red contest, he had just as much to say about a sophomore phenom by the name of Ronald Johnson. In a November 14th report, Turel stated the following:
"Michigan fans, remember the name Ronald Johnson (WR/DB). The sophomore is one of the best in the state in his class (along with Orchard Lake St. Mary's Dionte Allen). The young man is very good on both offense and defense."
Johnson went on from there to help Taylor lead the Big Reds to a state championship. His ability to play at a high level on both sides of the ball was a huge key. As a matter of fact, it can be argued that he is equally effective in either capacity, and he could conceivably play receiver and/or defensive back at the college level. At this point, though, where he lines up is of little concern to the Muskegon star. "It doesn't really matter to me," Johnson told GoBlueWolverine Wednesday. "I like to play both sides. They really didn't start throwing the ball to me until the middle of the season because I was a DB. Then they threw me the ball a lot...and I got maybe nine touchdowns on offense. On defense I had about 11 interceptions."
The on-field success during Muskegon's storybook season made Johnson a hot name heading into the summer, and he did his part to show what all of the fuss was about. He started with an excellent showing at the Nike combine in Ann Arbor, where he blazed one of the fastest shuttle times at the event...completing the drill in four seconds flat. His forty was only a 4.68, but according to Johnson, that wasn't indicative of his normal times. "It was going pretty good, but I hurt my ankle, so I was slowed down some. I'm 6-0 183 pounds and my fastest forty time is 4.4 flat."
When Johnson returned to Ann Arbor for Michigan's summer camp a few months later, his talents were again on full display. The youngster quickly established himself as one of the top defensive backs at the camp, and he thrived on the advice he received from third year Wolverine assistant, Ron English. "It was a really good experience," Johnson said. "I learned a lot from Coach English. He is a real good coach and he knows what he is talking about. He taught me a lot of things that stuck with me. He showed me how to make reads so I can get to the receiver faster than I normally do. I spoke to all of the coaches...even Coach Carr. He talked about the academic situation there and also said how he wanted me to play there. It was nice. They were giving me lot of attention."
As was the case with Orchard Lake St. Mary's DB, Dionte Allen, Johnson had a chance to visit with a former teammate while on campus. He also found time to make a few new friends along the way. "I spent some time with Terrance and I talked to him about a lot of things up there," Johnson recalled. "He's a really good player and is someone I like to be around. He tells me the things to do and the things not to do. I talked to [Dionte] Allen too. We played them in the state championship game. He was real cool. He's a real cool person."
Once camp was over, Johnson had impressed the Michigan coaching staff so much that they extended him a scholarship offer. While the Wolverines clearly have a leg up at this point, Johnson plans to be patient in making his decision. " I've always liked Michigan," he said. "They're always on TV. From what I've heard, I also have offers from Central Michigan, Notre Dame, and Purdue. That's all I know right now. I also like USC, Florida, Tennessee and Texas. I'm thinking about making my decision after my senior season. Education will be the most important factor."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Johnson throughout the year.