In the age of instant information, it’s become reality for recruits to receive a message from their high school coach, pick up the phone and call a college coach, and wind up with an offer. That’s how Johnson got in contact with Lions’ defensive line coach Sean Spencer, who made clear why the program wanted him.
“They said that they look at me like they want me and 2016 commit Shane Simmons to play together, and for me and him to play on opposite sides and stuff like that,” Johnson said.
That’s not a normal pitch, yet it’s one the Lions are able to offer after landing the four-star Simmons last week. And it piqued Johnson’s interest.
“I was very psyched about that, because he’s a very good defensive end and he complements my skills, Johnson said.
Johnson said his offseason improvements have been in getting offensive linemen’s hands off him and developing a quicker first step. He already viewed himself as a play-maker who excelled at stuffing opposing ball-carriers.
He believes that’s why Spencer likes him. It’s a mutual feeling.
“He’s pretty funny,” Johnson said. “He likes to mess around, but he’s a serious coach. I am trying to get down there early this month, and I want to know about their majors and their academics, and whether they have my major and all that.”
The Class of 2016 member said he would like to take a few visits before the season begins, but is unsure of the destinations. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder revealed Miami is a school turning his head early, though.
“Their message is similar to Penn State’s,” Johnson said. “I’d be like an outside linebacker or defensive end because I’m bigger and they’re psyched about that.”