Yazoo City (MS) High tailback Desmond Johnson is considered in many recruiting circles to be a sleeper of sorts, but it wasn’t always that way. The 6-0, 185-pounder led the state in rushing as a junior with 2,509 and 33 touchdowns and was named to the Jackson Clarion Ledger’s Dandy Dozen (a distinction reserved for the state’s top players). Days later he was tendered a scholarship offer by the LSU Tigers. Troy State was next to the party, but things reportedly slowed down on the offer front soon after because of work the youngster needed to do in the classroom.
On the field, he was his normal electrifying self… even after suffering a broken hand. Then he sustained an injury that put him on the shelf for the remainder of the year.
"I only played in five games,” Johnson told Scout.com back in October. “I broke my tibia bone. Through five games I had 1,003 yards and 15 TD. I've recovered from my injury and I'm now running."
Now fully mended, Johnson’s focus has switched back to recruiting, and the list of interested suitors is growing once again.
“When I broke my leg the coaches called me and told me they were sorry to hear that,” Johnson told GoBlueWolverine. “I told them it was a clean break and they put a little rod in my leg. They said that I’d be up in no time. There are plenty of guys that play with rods in their legs. Now I’m hearing Michigan, Southern Mississippi, Alcorn St, Jackson State, Memphis, Auburn, Clemson… a lot of schools. My fist visit was Alcorn State and my second was to Southern Mississippi. I’m flying up to Michigan Friday for a visit and then next week I’m going to Memphis. I’ve got three schools at the top. That’s Michigan, Southern Mississippi, and Memphis.”
The Wolverines have become a threat practically overnight, but there might be a significant obstacle in the way of them luring Johnson to Ann Arbor.
“Distance from home could be a big factor,” Johnson admitted. “It really depends on how I feel. This will be my first time getting to Michigan. I know they have a great coaching staff and great players. I know a lot of them end up going to the NFL. I know they’ve got a good program. It’s just tough to decide. I’m still thinking on it. By signing day I have to have my mind made up.”
If the Wolverines are able to overcome the distance issue, it will likely have a great deal to do with Johnson’s relationship with Hopson.
“We were tight,” the youngster said referring to the time when
Hopson was a coach at Southern Miss. “I know Coach Hop a nice, honest
guy. He tells the truth about things. I know he cares, man. I know he cares
about people because he really didn’t know me, but he was showing me love
like he knew me for years. That’s what I like about him. He knows how
to just be himself.”