November 10, 2011

Drake Johnson is no sleeper

By the time Ann Arbor (Mich.) running back Drake Johnson committed to Michigan on Tuesday, it was no surprise that the Wolverines had taken interest. In fact, according to Pioneer football coach Paul Test, the only surprise was that it took so long.

Johnson has won the last two state 110-meter hurdles championships at the high school level, turning in a 13.73-second time in the final earlier this spring. His top end speed isn't in question, but before this year, his productivity on the football field might have been.

Johnson has capitalized on the opportunity, to the tune of 2,757 yards so far as a senior. If he can manage 133 yards over the remainder of the season - Pioneer faces Detroit Catholic Central on Saturday in the state playoffs, and a single loss would end their season - he would own the single-year yardage mark in the MHSAA record books.

Johnson doesn't do all his work on the ground, however. He's a versatile athlete who factors into special teams for the Pioneers, and gets involved in the passing game - both as a thrower and receiver.

For all he adds to Michigan's 2012 recruiting class as an athlete, it could be easy to overlook his assets as a student and person. That would be unfair to Johnson, who brings positive attributes in spades.

Though some doubted Michigan's offer to Johnson, it sounds like the Wolverines are lucky to have jumped in early enough to secure a commitment from Johnson.

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