Johnson Now Has a New Leader

The #24-ranked defensive tackle in the nation, Mickey Johnson from Louisiana, had UCLA and Nebraska as his two leaders just a short time ago. That now has changed, as the prospect has a new leader...

It's no secret that Covington, Louisiana, defensive end Mickey Johnson is enjoying his recruitment for everything that it's worth.

From unofficial visits on the West Coast to hosting college coaches back at the home base of St. Paul's, the four-star prospect isn't letting anything pass him without first taking a quick glance.

"It's just something you only get to experience once," said Johnson of his recruitment. "I have a feel for where things are headed, but I'm still just taking everything in. I'm still hoping to decide after the season, and I also still want to take all five of my official visits. It's something I have always had in my plans."

The tone of visits might not have changed, but Johnson is no longer biting his tongue when asked about his frontrunner.

"It's LSU, and they've got a pretty good lead now," said Johnson, who left LSU out of his lead group of UCLA and Nebraska in June. "The camp did it for me."

In an effort to build the rapport between the state's uncommitted targets and the LSU program, the Tiger staff stacked the July camp heavy with Louisiana-born commitments.

All 11 in-state pledges made it to Baton Rouge at one point or another over the four-day stretch that he spent on campus, admittedly leaving Johnson wishing that he were already on board.

"It's just a really big family, and that showed through last week," he said. "Every one of us hung out and got along great. One night I stayed up kicking it with them until about 6 a.m., and then we woke up two hours later to report out to camp.

"I don't think any of us were on point that day."

By the end of camp, Johnson said that there was just one message to relay back to the LSU side.

"I told the coaches that they had really impressed me and that LSU had done enough to take a nice lead over everyone else," he said. "Coach Frank (Wilson) is the kind of guy who pulls you aside and gets to know you on a personal level, and that has helped them out a lot too. I feel like I trust everyone over at LSU."

With game day trips planned for LSU, UCLA, Nebraska, Michigan and Tennessee, the Tigers will look to hold their lead over the next four months of the regular season schedule.

If LSU wins big – especially at home – it will be good news on Johnson's front, because it's more than likely the 6-foot-1, 310-pounder will be somewhere in Tiger Stadium.

"After my official I definitely think I'll be on a few more trips to Baton Rouge," Johnson said. "The Alabama game is one I am pumped about. I'll probably be over there for all the big games."

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