IN THE HUDDLE: Michael Johnson

If working hard in the weightroom will get you ready to play football, Michael Johnson of Weston Cypress Bay in southern Florida is ready to make a major statement. The gifted athlete combines speed, strenth and plenty of skills.

PLAYER: Michael Johnson
POSITION: Athlete
SCHOOL: Weston Cypress Bay
HEIGHT: 5-11
WEIGHT: 210
40 SPEED: 4.45
HEAD COACH: Bill Hobbs www.floridakids Pre-Spring Rating: Not rated.

While testing is a part of the game of football, it isn't the only thing that athletes are judged on. Whether you can put up 185 pounds some 30 times or run a 4.47 in the 40 is nice for your resume, but it doesn't automatically qualify you as an All-American.

For Michael Johnson, it has been one of the door openers. His physical attributes have been impressive and has been his calling card for all to see.

STRENGTHS: When you go to as many camps as we do, there are very few players that catch your eye on the first glance. One player that catches everyone's eye is Michael Johnson of Cypress Bay. Physically, he is ready to play at the next level. He has the body of someone that is already in college.

When you break down his overall game, Johnson's strength has to be his speed and quickness to the football. He runs well for someone his size and can get to the ball carrier in a hurry.

What is also impressive about Johnson is that he could end up playing multiple positions in college. He has the ability to line up at fullback, linebacker or even strong safety. This coming season, he will likely be in the defensive secondary for the Lightning, although new defensive coordinator Frank Hepler, who also coaches the linebackers, would love to have this athletic standout calling his signals.

If you happen to be looking for a prospect that has all the physical attributes, Johnson fits the bill. Just ask some of the coaches and players who have gone against him.

WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: Right now Johnson is a prospect that you judge on upside. He has not even come close to fulfilling his potential at this time. Sometimes he goes full speed and will have a tendency not to wrap up on tackles or even over pursue on a play. If he can learn how to play more under control, his natural ability will take over. Another question that needs to be answered is whether or not Johnson can play in pass coverage. If he can then there is a chance his future could be at a safety. If not, Johnson will have to play at linebacker, fullback or running back in college.

OVERALL: Whether it was at the Perfect Competition/FloridaKids.us combine we hosted back in March or at any of the four camps and combines Johnson took part in during the spring, he showed just why he is a prospect who could easily project into something special two to three years down the road.

He has all the physical ability to play at the next level, but football has a lot to do with the mental part of the game. He needs to continue to learn how to play under control and do the little things that will turn him from a good football player to one that could be very good at the next level.

COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: While the University of Mississippi has already offered, there are schools such as South Florida, Kansas, UCF and others who have spent some time out in the western suburbs of Fort Lauderdale.

I could see him at a USF or UCF – or even as a fullback at a growing program such as Rutgers, where he showed some of the coaches how impressive he was at a combine in the first week of June.

You can contact Charles Fishbein for story ideas and inquire where to send game films and photos, so you can appear on www.floridakids.us at CFishbein@aol.com.

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