August 22, 2011

Ohio safety hoping for Spartan offer

One of the better performers at the Michigan State 1-Day Camp this summer was Antonio Johnson of Shaker Heights High School in Ohio. Johnson has been in regular contact with the Spartan Coaching Staff throughout the process and we have the latest information on his recruitment.

Michigan State is still looking to address the safety position in the class of 2012. The Spartans are in on several highly rated safeties such as Jordan Diggs of Florida and Demetrious Cox of Pennsylvania. However, the staff is also evaluating a few players as potential scholarship worthy and one of those players is Antonio Johnson of Shaker Heights.

Back in June the 6-foot-193-pound Johnson camped at Michigan State and excelled in both the testing and 1 on 1 portion of the camp. In testing he clocked a 4.55 forty-yard dash, had a 35 inch vertical jump, a 6.9 second L-Cone drill and a broad jump of 10-feet.Combined, those numbers were some of the best at the camp.

We asked Johnson about his current scholarship offers and where he stands with some other teams that are in contact with him.

"I have offers from Ball State, Toledo, Akron, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Buffalo, Bowling Green and Ohio," Johnson said. "I am hearing from Michigan State, Iowa, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh and Syracuse."

Michigan State has some strong ties to Shaker Heights High School; current Spartan offensive tackle Henry Conway graduated from there back in 2009. Spartan Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi serves as the primary recruiter of that school and Johnson said he has been in touch with him recently.

"I have a good relationship with Coach Narduzzi and Coach (Harlon) Barnett," Johnson stated. "They have basically just said they want to see my senior film before they offer me. They said I am the top safety prospect they are looking at that they have not offered yet."

Yesterday news broke that safety prospect D.J. Singleton of New Jersey committed to the Wisconsin Badgers. Singleton was one of a few safety prospects that already had a Michigan State scholarship offer. Singleton's commitment is not going to cause Michigan State to run out and offer Johnson, but the list of safety candidates just got shorter by one.

Back in June Johnson informed that a Michigan State scholarship offer would likely prompt him to commit on the spot, we asked him if that is still the case?

"Yes, they would definitely be my #1 choice," Johnson said. will continue to follow the recruitment of Johnson over the coming months. It is possible that if he has a strong senior year the Spartans will decide to offer him without waiting on other players. That was the case with running back LeVeon Bell back in 2010. Bell's senior season made his offer a no brainier despite the fact that the staff was still trying to recruit future Wisconsin running back James White.'s Take:

Johnson is one of those typical Ohio players that has a ton of MAC offers prior to his senior year and now is just waiting to see what happens with the BCS schools. Some players do not get the offers and end up playing in the MAC, but some players end up getting the offer and go on to do big things in the Big Ten, players like B.J Cunningham and Micah Hyde come to mind.

To see film of Johnson in action, click the link below.

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