Johnson makes a name for himself at Pierce

A JUCO defensive back prospect poised for a breakout 2011 season is L.A. Pierce CB Oliver Johnson (6-1, 185). caught up with the talented corner and he filled us in on which schools have already started recruiting him as well as what he's working on this offseason to help him become an even better football player...

"I want to attack the ball more this year and make plays when I get there," Johnson told recently. "I really need to work on my hands because I had a couple of chances for picks, but instead I came up and broke up the play.

"I'd break on the ball hard, but instead of making the play, the ball would be incomplete. This year, I want to make the play and give the ball back to my team, so my focus is catching balls every day and also working on reading routes a little better so I can anticipate more."

As a freshman last fall, Johnson started three games for the Brahmas, posting 12 tackles and five passes defensed, but going the JUCO route wasn't his first choice out of high school.

"After I graduated from Taft (Woodland Hills, Ca.), I signed with Missouri Western, but I really didn't like it and felt like I needed to start new," Johnson recalled. "I was looking at Moorpark, but when I looked at Pierce and how many kids they got to the next level, I felt like it was the right move for me to come here."

With his outstanding size and 4.5 speed, Johnson is the perfect fit in a cover-two defense, but he admitted he prefers to play bump-and-run a little more.

"I like playing man just because you can mix it up with the receivers, but I play zone well too," Johnson said. "I'll do whatever I need to do in the defense called, but if I prefer man-to-man."

On the recruiting front, three schools have already spoken to Johnson and let him know they like what they've seen so far, although none have offered at this point.

"Utah talked to me and said they really liked my film a lot," Johnson said. "New Mexico State called recently and Oregon State talked to my coaches.

"I'm being recruited by (defensive coordinator) Mark Banker from them and he likes me a lot."

Johnson is on pace to finish up his AA in December and he will have two years to play two wherever he ends up.

Oliver Johnson Scout Profile

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