Big Junior QB loves it at Rocky Top

With National Signing Day a little more than 30 days away, look for the recruiting focus for a lot of schools to get underway for the Class of 2011. One current junior quarterback, Michael Johnson of Briarcrest High School in Tennessee, has a lot of interest from schools, and there is one school that he has grown up loving. Go "Inside" for the latest on Johnson's recruitment.

The Tennessee high school prospect has been paying attention to how things have been going for the biggest college in his home state.

Memphis Briarcrest quarterback Michael Johnson won't hesitate to tell you that he has grown up wearing Orange and White.

With the Volunteers getting a new head coach last year, Johnson was interested in watching how Lane Kiffin runs his program.

The one thing that has impressed Johnson the most about Kiffin and Tennessee is how the first-year head coach handled his quarterback situation early in the season.

"The way he developed Jonathan Crompton was simply amazing," Johnson told InsideTennessee.com. "I loved the way he stuck by his quarterback and believed in him when no one else did. It really paid off for both of them. I love that in a head coach."

Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound signal caller, threw for 1,098 yards and 21 touchdowns this past season as a junior. It appears that Johnson will have a lot of schools to choose from.

While he has no official offers yet, he has over 14 schools showing a lot of interest. Those schools that include UCLA, Arkansas, Georgia, Boston College, Syracuse, Illinois, Nebraska, Tennessee and Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Johnson, who has a older sister already going to school in Knoxville, has attended several games this season at Rocky Top.

"I have been going to UT games as long as I can remember," Johnson said. "My sister goes there so we go up to most of the home games and visit her while we are there."

Johnson was also impressed with the Vols coaching staff.

"I called up there to find out who my recruiting coach was and then called Coach Orgeron," Johnson said. "He knew who I was, that was pretty impressive. I got a chance to go up and meet them after a game."

Johnson admits that he has always dreamed about playing at Tennessee.

"It's always been a dream of mine to run through the T," Johnson admitted. "I love the game day atmosphere of UT, I love singing Rocky Top all night long."

The tradition of the Tennessee program has also left an impression with Johnson.

"When I think of football, Tennessee football is the first thing I think of," Johnson said. "I have been raised Orange and White."

While Johnson loves Tennessee, he is also keeping all his options open.

He attended a couple of Arkansas practices this past week in Memphis as the Razorbacks prepare for the Liberty Bowl.

"Arkansas is showing me a lot of interest," Johnson said. "I'm interested in all the schools that are interested in me."

Stay tuned to InsideTennessee.com for the best recruiting updates you can find.


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