Grosse Point (Mich.) South five-star cornerback Will Johnson announced he will make his college decision among Michigan, Ohio State and USC on Feb. 28.
The 6-3, 190-pound Johnson is considered the fourth-best cornerback and No. 8 prospect overall in the class of 2022, as he recorded 26 tackles, four pass break ups, two interceptions and one tackle to earn all-state honors this past season. He also also added 273 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns on offense.
The 6-3 and 190-pound Johnson, who is the son of former Wolverines cornerback Deon Johnson (1991-94), landed an offer from the Buckeyes during a virtual visit with head coach Ryan Day and defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs last April. He then made his first and only trip to Columbus on Dec. 12, at which time he toured campus with his parents and made stops at Ohio Stadium and the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, though they couldn’t meet with the coaching staff due to the ongoing recruiting dead period.
That visit seemingly thrust Ohio State to the forefront of Johnson’s recruitment, but Michigan quickly jumped back into the lead with the hiring of new co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Maurice Linguist, who spent the 2020 season as the secondary coach for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. There, Linguist notably coached former Wolverines cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who had a preexisting relationship with Johnson and offered an endorsement of his one-time position coach.
It’s widely expected that Johnson will choose the Wolverines as a result, though it’s impressive the Buckeyes were able to make things so close, especially considering he never met Day or Coombs in person and grew up with Michigan paraphernalia around his home. There’s a slight chance he chooses the Trojans, though, given his desire to play alongside 2022 Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei five-star cornerback Domani Jackson, who pledged his services to USC on Jan. 23.
Not to mention, if Johnson wants to move away from home, playing for the Trojans would certainly be much more palatable for his family and friends than him choosing the Buckeyes.
With Johnson likely out of the picture, Ohio State will continue to pursue a handful of the nation’s top cornerbacks with the hopes of adding one more alongside Jacksonville (Fla.) Robert E. Lee five-star Jaheim Singletary and West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West four-star Jyaire Brown. Other names to keep in mind Houston North Shore five-star Denver Harris; Mauldin, S.C., five-star Jeadyn Lukus; Denton (Texas) Ryan four-star Austin Jordan; St. Louis Lutheran North four-star Toriano Pride; and Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna Prep four-star Ryan Turner.
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