Johnson: Two New Leaders

The #24-ranked defensive tackle in the nation, Mickey Johnson from Louisiana, said LSU had emerged as the favorite just a few weeks ago, but the situation has changed, and he has two new schools out in front...

Mickey Johnson, the 6-foot-1, 310-pound defensive tackle from The Saint Pauls School Senior Boys in Covington, La., says that UCLA and Tennessee now lead slightly over Nebraska, LSU, Michigan and Oregon. All have offered (42 total).

"UCLA and Tennessee are a little ahead of the rest," Johnson said. "I've been out to UCLA (June 9) for a visit and really liked the campus and the academics there. Coach (Todd) Howard (defensive line) and I talk a lot, most through emails and texts. They are the only official visit I've scheduled so far on Dec. 4, but that date might change, I'm not sure yet.

Johnson, who is originally from San Diego, Calif., said he likes the idea of being back in Southern California. "My father's in the Navy and we lived in San Diego for a long time," he said. "I was born there. So it would be cool to be close to home again. And there's been a big change in UCLA football and they are coming up."

Tennessee is also at the top of the four-star prospect's list. "I didn't really know much about Tennessee until about a week ago, " Johnson admits. But they've really showed me love and I like that a lot," Johnson said. "Coach (Terry) Joseph (defensive backs) and Coach (Chuck) Smith (defensive line) have been to my school a couple of times. Coach Smith told me about all the guys he's coached who are now in the NFL and I was pretty impressed.

"I'm going to schedule a visit there for sure, but just haven't set a date yet," he said. "Me and my dad have been doing a lot of research on the computer and I love what I see so far. The campus is beautiful and they have great academics."

Johnson said he's planning officials to all his favorites with the exception of LSU more than likely. "LSU is still up there behind UCLA and Tennessee," he said. "They are my home-state school, about an hour away. I don't think I want to take an official their just cause they are so close.

"I talk with Coach (Frank) Wilson (running backs) a lot," Johnson added. "I like what he's told me about the program and how they really need a guy like me right now with so many guys leaving. My dad is from Louisiana too, so LSU is big for him.

"Nebraska and Michigan are in my top five still," Johnson said. "I don't know much about them, just what I research and the coaches have told me. I'm planning on taking officials to both. I'm waiting to see which games I want to see."

When asked about a possible fifth visit,'s No.24 defensive tackle mentioned Oregon.

"I think I want to take my fifth visit right now to Oregon," he said. "I don't know much about them. I got the offer a few months ago, but I know they didn't start evaluating out-of-state high school guys until rather late, so I know they want me. That's not for sure yet though."

Johnson wants to take his officials before making any decisions. "I'll take all five visits first, then I'll decide. I'm not concerned about a timeframe right now."

"Right now I'm focus on getting my grades up (2.2 core GPA)," he said. "The coaches said pick up my grades a little so I can have a little comfort area. I've enrolled in a study skills class at school and meet with my counselor everyday. The coaches don't sound too worried because they know I'm working hard."

He is retaking the ACT on Sept. 11.

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