Johnson Weathers Hurricane Ike

Klein Collins linebacker Malcolm Johnson and his family sustained little damage from Hurricane Ike, although the storm has temporarily halted a fast start to the 2008 season for the Texas A&M commit. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop recently spoke to Johnson about his season

It's been a rough week for many residents in the Houston area due to Hurricane Ike, and that includes many high school football recruits in the region as well. Even prospects living inland from the coast have been affected. Klein Collins linebacker Malcolm Johnson and his family have been without power since the storm hit Saturday morning, but with his house intact and minimal damage he's one of the lucky ones this week despite the hardships.

"We had a tree fall in the front yard and there's some damage to our fence, but we managed pretty good," Johnson said. "We're still without power and I'm staying with some friends right now."

Johnson's Houston area suburb of Spring, TX was directly in the path of Hurricane Ike, so even though the community is 80 miles inland from the coast, they received the brunt of the storm with hurricane force winds.

"I wasn't expecting anything like that. We had 90 mph winds," Johnson said. "It sounded like an airplane going right over our house for hours. You don't understand the power of something like this until you experience it."

As with all schools in the area, the hurricane has played havoc with Klein Collins schedule. The Tigers were supposed to play MacArthur High School last Friday, but that game was cancelled. The team has a previously scheduled bye this week. The two week break comes as the Tigers have jumped out to a 2-0 start. Johnson has also come out hot as well, with a breakout game against Cy-Fair.

"I had nine tackles, four sacks, and a forced fumble in the Cy-Fair game," Johnson said. "Against Conroe, I had seven tackles, one sack, a forced fumble, and two pass break-ups. I think I'm doing much better this year."

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker was not on the national recruiting radar when he committed to the Aggies in July, but his legitimate 4.5 forty speed and quickness caught the eye of the A&M coaches who quickly offered. Based on early returns in 2008, the staff's decision to offer this summer was a good one.

"Last year was my first to play linebacker and I was still learning the position," Johnson said. "This season, I'm more comfortable and I have a better understanding of the game. I can read the offense and I have a better idea of what they are doing."

Johnson talks to defensive coach Buddy Wyatt on a regular basis, and head coach Mike Sherman called him last week. The two discussed the future of the Texas Aggie defense.

"He wants to get more speed on the field. He said speed can overcome a lot of issues on the field," Johnson said. "That's one of the reasons they wanted me. I can bring that speed off the edge."

Other schools are also starting to see Johnson's performances and are inquiring about his availability despite his verbal commitment to Texas A&M.

"Coach Simmons at Texas Tech called on Tuesday and asked if I was interested in looking at them," Johnson said. "I told him I was committed to A&M and wasn't interested in looking around. I'm solid."

Johnson and fellow Texas A&M commit Kenric McNeal plan to attend this weekend's home game against Miami. The two grew up in the same area and played youth sports together.

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