January 13, 2011

Friendswood's Johnson has A&M's interest

Even though they didn't get a lot of attention during the year, the Friendswood Mustangs had an impressive 2010. They won 13 games and advanced to the 4A state semifinals before losing to eventual champion Lake Travis 24-3.

One of the major reasons for Friendswood's success was running back Johnathon Johnson, who racked up more than 2,000 yards of total offense. The 5 foot, 9-inch, 170-lb. Johnson rushed for 1,539 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging better than 6 yards a carry; he also tied for second on the team in receptions with 44, for another 508 yards and a team-leading 12 scoring catches.

"We run the spread offense. When we have four wide receiver sets, I'm in the backfield; if we go five wides, I'm one of them," he said. "If I'm in the backfield, we'll run things like a jet sweep or stretch plays."

Johnson was an invitee to the U.S. Army Combine in San Antonio last week, where he put on a strong performance. Both his 40-yard dash and shuttle times were among the elite.

"When I ran my 40 and it came up 4.60, I was pretty disappointed because I'm used to running around a 4.4. But that was the first time I've run it with electronic timing and they said that it would probably be about two-tenths slower than hand-held timing, so it made sense," he said. "I ran a 4.19 in the shuttle, so I was pretty happy about that."

Johnson's speed and agility has attracted the interest of Texas A&M, who is already putting a strong push on the Friendswood star.

"They're looking at me more as an athlete," he said. "I think they're looking at using me in the slot or someplace on the offense where I can be effective."

Johnson is being recruited by outside linebackers coach Nick Toth, and the two appear to have hit it off.

"I don't know much about him as a coach, but talking to him on the phone and meeting him in person, he's a really nice guy," Johnson said of Toth. "I enjoy talking with him."

Johnson said he has been invited to A&M's Junior Day Jan. 22 and plans on attending. He also said that the Aggies are one of the early leaders for his services.

"Texas Tech has already offered, of course, but Texas A&M is also up there at the top," he said. "It's a good academic school, they've got great tradition, it's a good program and it's pretty close to home."

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