Five-star Will Johnson continues the legacy, picks Michigan

The Michigan Wolverines continued a recent string of big, in-state recruiting wins on Sunday when five-star cornerback Will Johnson announced he would be committing to the home-state school. The Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South class of 2022 prospect picked Michigan out of a top group that also included Ohio State and USC.


Johnson landed his first offers when he was just a freshman in high school, and that list would grow to include many of the biggest programs in college football. As the son of former Michigan defensive back Deon Johnson, the Wolverines were always viewed as the team to beat in this recruitment. For his part, though, Johnson moved through his recruitment methodically, taking visits when he could and researching the schools recruiting him so he could identify top contenders. Back in November Johnson issued a top five that consisted of Arizona State, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC. He would eventually trim Arizona State and Oklahoma from that group, and proceeded to make visits on his own to each of Michigan, Ohio State and USC. With the dead period extended once again and actual recruiting visits not taking place until June at the earliest, Johnson decided there was no reason to wait and made his choice.


“I chose to go to Michigan because of the relationship with the coaching staff and feeling like I can come in and make an impact early. I just felt there was a lot I couldn’t pass up at the school.”


Michigan struggled to recruit its home-state during much of Jim Harbaugh’s tenure, but that trend has turned in the last two months. They landed Rivals100 running back Donovan Edwards on the December Signing Day, flipped Rivals100 lineman Rayshaun Benny from Michigan State on the February Signing Day and now land a commitment from the No. 1 ranked in-state prospect for the 2022 class. Although Johnson is a legacy recruit, this was not an easy win for the Wolverines. He told me Ohio State did, in fact, lead in his recruitment for a time following his visit to Columbus in December, and USC got a visit from Johnson in January. In the end, though, Michigan’s coaching changes, particularly with its defensive staff, helped the Wolverines secure the five-star cornerback. Michigan expects Johnson to come in early and contribute, and there is nothing holding him back physically from doing so. He is a lockdown corner with size, speed and fluidity.


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