Michigan defensive back Johnny Sears claims to be up to 181-pounds.
The story is familiar to members of GoBlueWolverine.com. Sears was an
unknown talent because he had transferred to Edison from McLain High School in Fresno
his junior year. According to California Interscholastic Federation transfer
rules, Sears was required to sit out his junior season. As such he played J.V.
ball. However, Michigan was not the only school interested in Sears. "USC had
seen him too and was very interested," Perry said. "But Ron jumped on him right
away. After Johnny committed to Michigan, USC was all over him trying to get
him to change him mind. He was set on Michigan though." Sears maintained all
along he was a Michigan fan growing up, and he wore the No. 2 in honor of former
Michigan great Charles Woodson.
Fast forward a year ... and Sears is realizing his dream. He flew to Ann Arbor on July 3 to join his future teammates during summer workouts. One major roadblock to Sears actually being on the fall roster was the question of whether or not he would qualify. The young man suffered from appendicitis at the end of his junior year, and missed the end of classes, including finals. The entire summer has been one of anticipation not only for Sears, but for Michigan fans who are looking forward to seeing Sears on the field. It appears as though those wishes will come true. "We've got all the scores and grades in and Johnny is qualifed and will be at Michigan in the fall," Perry said.
Sears returned home on break and participated in an informal workout with his former Edison teammates. He was now a mentor to the players who will follow him as a Tiger. Sears led a small group of defensive backs through drills, some of which he brought with him from his month at Michigan.
When GBW first observed Sears last summer, he was still recovering from his appendectomy, and so he was rail thin. However, one thing was apparent - the kid had raw skills rarely seen on a player his age. His hips turned as if on grease and his footwork was precise. And he was fast, blazing fast. During the season his speed made up for his lack of experience at the position. Opposing receivers were able to get by him at times, but Sears was able to quickly and easily catch them once again. He would not have that luxury at the next level.
Sears says he was now up to 181-pounds, and it was apparent he had been a fast learner during his month working out with his teammates. Former Edison player Danny Jones, who spent time in the CFL, was on hand participating in the workouts. Sears and Jones went head to head on several occasions during the night and the new Wolverine showed he had definitely been working on his timing. Of course, a summer evening workout isn't a firm indicator of future success, but given our extensive observations of Sears, the improvement in his ability to stick with a receiver after initial contact was readily apparent.
Speaking of the month in Ann Arbor, Sears commented on the experience. "The speed of those guys is amazing," he said. "I think (Steve) Breaston and (Jason) Avant are the top receivers, for sure. I'm getting settled in and everyone has been great. I think I'm going to be rooming with Jason Forcier when I get back. The town of Ann Arbor is fun and I like it."
Sears returns to Michigan on Saturday, and believes he will get playing time this season. "If they feel like they need to red-shirt me I'll do that," he said. "I've learned a lot since I've been there and I think I can play with those guys."
Sears was assigned the No. 25 for this season, but doesn't expect to wear the number for long. "I'm hoping I can get the No. 4 after Darnell (Hood) leaves," he said. "Woodson is my hero and I wore his number in high school, but (Shawn) Crable is going to be around for another two years, and I want to make a number for myself."
Sears, home on a break and working out with his former team, goes one-on-one against former Edison standout Danny Jones.
Sears instructs the Tiger players on drills he learned at Michgian
Sears shows off a cut physique