PITTSBURG, Calif. -- Passing Down’s Nor Cal Regional on April 9 once again brought out the size and scrapper attitude that many prospects come equipped with – all because they’re hungry for exposure or have a desire to out-perform the highly-coveted prospect on the opposite side of them.
Emany Johnson of Hercules (Calif.) became a strong representation of this on the Los Medanos College field.
The 2018 prospect doubled as an unguardable wide receiver and towering lockdown defensive back who forced the three-and-outs with his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. He entered the LMCC field with no scholarship offers and very few letters, but he left the Passing Down regional as one of the more talked about playmakers on his club team Silly U, even getting the Passing Down Twitter page to tweet out some praise.
“I’m an athlete, but mainly receiver and corner. Anywhere my coach wants me to go, I’m there,” Johnson told Scout.
He often crossed paths with two of the more heralded recruits at the Passing Down regional: Deshon Wilson and Kahlef Hailassie – both of whom have combined for more than 15 offers. Johnson held his own against both – catching balls with focus while Wilson was near his vicinity and helping prevent the long ball from going Hailassie’s way.
Throughout the day underneath the partly cloudy Bay Area sky, the ball-hawking Johnson presented red zone matchup problems. He’s the exact same way in shoulder pads and helmet, as Johnson not only is known for his versatility, but for displaying incredible balance and strength after hauling in a reception.
Silly U didn’t reach the title game of the regional and lost out on a return to Passing Down’s Best of the West finals, but Johnson took advantage of his opportunity to place his name on the same pedestal with the best in Nor Cal – all while his friend and future Boise State Bronco Damon Cole watched from the sidelines.
Johnson said the Mountain West powerhouse is one of the few schools that have shown some early interest.
“It excites me,” Johnson said about the interest from the Broncos. “[Cole] is like my cousin. I’ve been around him for a long time.”
Johnson adds Wyoming, Hawaii and Harvard have either sent him letters or have made contact. Off the field, he holds a 3.7 grade point average and recently scored a 25 on his ACT.
He concludes that while Silly U may be fairly new to the 7v7 scene, the non-profit organization that’s spearheaded by Cole’s father Damon Sr. has become a producer of college football talent, plus a driving force in ensuring that East Bay prospects like Johnson stay on the right path.
Said Johnson: “We talk about a lot. Coach Damon tells us to not fail in life. Once we get to college, the coaches will be different. When you do something wrong or you don’t listen, they’ll send you home. Simple stuff like that.”