Michael Johnson gave his verbal pledge to Louisville earlier this month and he said one of the main…
LSU offer complicates things for Johnson
He believed he had picked the perfect school for him, and that no other programs would offer him the same opportunities. But then he spoke with LSU DB coach Corey Raymond last Friday, who informed him the Tigers were extending him an offer.
"That's a school I would love to play at," Johnson said. "First of all, that's where the Honey Badger went. When I got that offer, I was ecstatic because I could play on the same team he played on. I like his playing style. When I talked to Coach Raymond, I told him I'd be a perfect fit…
"I called him, and when I told him who I was, he said they offered me. I told him this would be a school I'd love to play at. I'd love to play for the Tigers. I was just happy."
That new offer has made things a bit more complicated for Johnson. He said he originally committed to Louisville for the atmosphere and to potentially play with a pair of former high school teammates.
While those are still attractive draws, he admitted that LSU is on a different level.
"I'm going to have to field my other options, but I don't know [what's going to happen]," Johnson said. "It's going to be tough when it comes down to it."
The LSU offer does come with a condition though. Because the LSU coaches expect Johnson's recruitment to take off in the coming months, the staff wanted to make sure they were involved early with the Hialeah, FL prospect.
But the coaches would still like to bring him into camp — Johnson said he'll attend in July — before that offer becomes committable. Johnson said he has no problem putting in whatever work it will take.
"I want to come in and work for what I have to earn," Johnson said. "I don't want to just come in and play. I do want to come in and play, don't get me wrong, but I want to earn what's mine. I want to outdo and compete with the person that has the spot, and show them I'm the best person for the job. I love being around people that are putting in the same amount of work I put in."
Johnson channeled his inner Honey Badger when he described his play. He considers himself a physical, hard-hitting safety that has a knack for causing turnovers. He had 99 tackles and forced seven fumbles in his junior season.
"[My strength is] my ability to take the ball away from the offense," Johnson said. "I know [LSU's] defense likes to get takeaways. I could come in and create lots of turnovers and get the offense the ball back…When the runner has the ball, I'm going to get the ball from him."
He did admit though that he could improve in his coverage, something the LSU coaches would probably like to see during spring evaluations and in camp. Johnson had just one interception in 2012, and he'd like to increase that number drastically as a senior.
"My goal is to have way more interceptions than I had last year," Johnson said. "I want to work on picking the ball out of the air and returning the interceptions for touchdowns. I've already shown that I can hit and take the ball away."
Johnson measures 6-foot-2, 187 pounds. He said he's been clocked having a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. He holds offers from LSU, Louisville, West Virginia, UCF and Nebraska.
He said his only plans for the spring are to attend Louisville's spring game, and he expects to camp at both LSU and Miami this summer.
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