Passing The Test

Some players immediately pass "the eyeball test" -- that is, they look like players from the moment they don football gear and step on the field. One Ohioan at last weekend's football camp at West Virginia met those criteria, and he is very interested in the Mountaineers after an impressive showing during the afternoon sessions.

Will Johnson of Centerville High School came to WVU's camp looking to improve his chances for a scholarship offer, and the six-foot, two-inch, 200-pound athlete certainly did just that. Despite a late arrival, the athletic Johnson, who missed most of his sophomore and junior seasons due to injuries and acadmeic woes, was impressive. His change of direction and strength were obvious in both individual drills and one-on-one work, and his willingness to learn marked him as a player on the rise.

"I liked this camp a lot better than the combines," Johnson said of West Virginia's structure. "You get a lot more reps, and that helps you get better. Overall, it was fun, and I enjoyed myself. I learned a lot, and the coaching staff is very nice. It's a good staff, and I am looking forward tocoming back to the three-day camp."

Although it was Johnson's first trip to the WVU campus, he didn't find much that surprised him. Noting that it was "pretty much what I anticipated," he was upbeat about his performance at safety -- a position that was new to him.

"Playing safety was a little bit different. It was my first time playing it, so it was a learning process," said Johnson, who has played cornerback and running back during his abbreviated high school career. I learned a lot about it.

Johnson has offers from Eastern Michigan and Marshall to date, but hopes to add more from bigger schools as the summer and fall progress. West Virginia is one place that the athletic Johnson could see himself playing.

"WVU wants to see what my grades are at the end of the semester, and they have talked about possibly making an offer then. Definitely, WVU is a school I am interested in."

NOTES

Johnson, who counts his awareness on the field and the ability to make big plays as some of his key attributes, knows he has to prove himself both on and off the field. To that end, he notes that his main goals are to finish out his senior season right, both on and off the field. After losing almost a full seaosn to academic issues, Johnson has righted his schoolwork habits and should be able to qualify.

Despite coming to camps such as West Virginia's without an offer, Johnson said he doesn't feel any pressure when performing.

"It just makes it more fun," he said with a smile. "I come out here to compete and have some fun, so it really doesn't add any pressure at all."


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