U-M Loses, Then Gains Ground with Johnson

The Michigan Wolverines were once the strong favorites for Muskegon High DB Ronald Johnson, but that status was recently challenged by the lure of going out of state. Recently, though, the Maize and Blue has made up ground. Is the state's top player definitely leaning toward leaving?

The road to recovery is nearing an end for Muskegon High defensive back Ronald Johnson. The consensus top player in the state of Michigan for 2007 is gaining more confidence in his surgically repaired ACL every day. "Rehab is going real good," Johnson said. "I was running in the pool, but now I'm running 40's. I'm definitely going to be able to go to camps this year."

Ann Arbor will be on Johnson's list of camp stops this summer, but he will also look to branch out a little bit if at all possible. That's significant because the stranglehold the Wolverines previously had on this coveted prospect loosened up recently as a result of the coaching turnover.

"Dionte (Allen) called me told me Coach English had left," Johnson recalled. "At that point the offensive coordinator (Terry Malone, who was Johnson's recruiter) had left, and then Coach E. I was like, 'man, everything is going down.' That made me look out of state. I talked to Terrence (Taylor) about maybe going somewhere else besides Michigan."

Michigan's declining chances soon got a much-needed shot in the arm when Johnson got word that English would be staying on in Ann Arbor as the new defensive coordinator.

"Dionte called me again and said, 'he's back!', " Johnson said. "I was like, 'he's back?!' By that time I had started thinking about leaving and going out of state. I'm definitely looking at them hard again, but it's a harder choice now that I started to really think about leaving. Everybody is just coming at me right now.

With schools like Miami, Texas, and USC now piquing Johnson's interest, it's clear the competition for his services have now stiffened. That being said, the standing for the once strongly favored Wolverines is unquestionably on the upswing. "Ever since I heard Coach English was back, my interest started really going up again," said Johnson. "Now I'm just waiting to see what happens."

Johnson indicated he plans to speak with English very soon.

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