When the coaching shake-up at Michigan occurred several weeks ago, the rumors were that Ronald Johnson (6-1, 180 pounds) was going to open up his recruiting. Even though the Wolverines eventually recaptured defensive backs coach Ron English from the Chicago Bears, the die had been cast.
"When he left, I was looking to go out of state," Johnson said of English's status at Michigan. "It really wasn't a concern that he left. Even when he was there I was planning on going out of state. It really wasn't based on him. It just that I felt I wanted to go out of state.
"It's wide open right now. I'm looking at pretty much everyone. I'm hearing from USC, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Texas, Miami, Tennessee, Florida… there are a number of them. I'm interested in a lot of schools right now; I just don't know where I want to go. I'm still wide open. At this moment I don't have a top five, I'll probably be narrowing it down soon though. Me, my mom and my uncles will sit down and talk and figure things out."
Coaches from around the country are starting to turn up the heat on the top recruits and Johnson recently spoke to two of the biggest names in college football.
"The last coaches I talked to were, Pete Carroll (USC) and coach Brown from Texas. "He (Carroll) called at school. It was a pretty interesting to talk to him. It was a surprise. Everything sounded good. He said he wanted me to become a Trojan. I think he's going to offer me pretty soon.
"Coach Brown called the same day he (Carroll) called. I've thought about Texas a lot. They're pretty good too.
"Its all a big surprise," Johnson said of the recruiting attention that he's receiving. "But all the hard work my coach had me doing is paying off."
Much of the hard work Johnson has put is due to the knee injury he suffered early into his junior season.
"It's a lot better," Johnson said of his knee. "I'm running great. I'll be out of rehab in March. The other day I was back to where I was, I ran a 4.4 forty at the high school. My shuttle time is better. I had the best shuttle at the Nike combine last year, 4.0 flat. Now it's down to a 3.88.
"I don't want to play any sports until football. I'm going to go to some camps and combines, so by that time I'll be 100 percent. I still lift hard and my knee is actually stronger than before."