After Muskegon (MI) cornerback Ronald Johnson tore his anterior cruciate ligament last season, many wondered if he would be able to return to his previous form in the 10 months between the injury and the start of this season. He erased whatever doubts there were by turning in a phenomenal season on both sides of the ball. His showing on defense was particularly impressive. Heading into last Friday's game against Holland Christian, the talented youngster had not surrendered a single touchdown to an opposing receiver. That streak finally came to an end, though, thanks to a helping hand from the guys wearing black & white stripes.
"The referee came over and told me that I couldn't jam the receiver," a dejected Johnson said. "He made it easier for (the receiver) by saying I couldn't touch him. That's my game. I come up and jam guys and play physical. I asked the ref what I was supposed to do. He said he didn't know…. he just knew I couldn't touch him. Then the receiver beat me on an inside route. It was like an eight or ten yard slant for a touchdown. I was mad about that one. I wanted to make it through the season without giving one up."
Johnson will have to shake off the frustration fairly quickly because the Big Reds have a date this Friday with Hudsonville in the opening round of the MHSAA playoffs. Muskegon's quest for a state title continues to be his primary focus, thus pushing his recruitment into the background. Recently, though, he found the time to determine which colleges he will visit officially in the coming months.
"I'm going to visit USC, Florida, Texas, Ohio State, and Michigan," he said. "I don't know when I'm going to visit them yet, but I'm going to try to take some of them while the season is still going on. My coaches said they don't mind as long as I don't let it interfere with my game."
Johnson indicated plans of taking all five official visits before making his final decision. A recent conversation with former teammate and current Wolverine Terrance Taylor made clear to him the value of getting out and seeing new places.
"I was down at Michigan for the game this weekend and I talked to Terrance," said Johnson. "He told me straight up to not let anybody make my decision for me. He told me to do what I think is best for me and not what someone else thinks. He also told me to take all my visits. He said he wishes he would have taken all of his visits even though he knew he was going to Michigan. He told me that I should go ahead and go see all of the schools. "
Aside interacting with Taylor and a number of other Michigan players, Johnson also had to chance to mingle with a few of the recruits that were in town for Saturday's contest, including fellow five star recruit, Everson Griffen. The Arizona native made quite the impression on Johnson. Meanwhile, according to Johnson, Michigan also made quite an impression on Griffen.
"That dude is crazy," Johnson said laughing. "He is just a real funny dude. I think he got a little cold. He had some real long socks (laughing). I don't think it that big a deal though. I think he was really feeling it. He said he really liked it a lot, especially compared to (another visit he took)."
Johnson will have some comparing and contrasting of visits of his own to do in the coming weeks. With five heavy hitters still left standing in his recruitment, he can't wait to see what each of them has to offer.
"I don't know what I'm going to do yet," he said. "I know Michigan is doing their thing and that's my home school, so they're definitely going to be on the list. I'd have a chance to go right in and start. I'd have the chance to go right in and start at USC too. I'll have to find out what's up at these other schools. I have to learn more about them."
Stay tuned for to GoBlueWolverine for more road trip video of Ronald Johnson coming later this week.