June 7, 2010

Johnson learns to play corner

Lago Vista defensive back JeMarcus Johnson might be considered a sleeper by many observers. After all, he comes from a Class 2A school that just won their first district title in the school's history last season. In addition, he did not put up eye-catching numbers on the offensive side, spending most of his time on defense.

However, college coaches found their way to the small town on the north side of Lake Travis this spring in search of film on Johnson's exploits. One reason Johnson wasn't more widely known among college recruiters prior to spring was because he hadn't been to any camps or combines. That changed this weekend as Johnson attended Texas A&M's one-day camp Sunday, in what may be the first of several camp visits this summer.

In fact, if Johnson has his way, it may be the best visit of them all. Johnson listed the Aggies as his leader in May thanks to the recruiting efforts of A&M assistant Nick Toth, coming to the camp in hopes of picking up an offer from the Aggies to add to his list which already includes Air Force and Vanderbilt. He'll find out if he did so soon enough.

"I think I did good," Johnson said. "I talked to coach Toth afterwards. He said that they would get everyone together, evaluate everyone and rank them.

"He was very positive about everything. I've got to call him tomorrow or Tuesday and find out if they are going to offer or not."

Johnson, who ran a 4.55 forty at 6-feet, 166-pounds, has played safety on defense his entire high school career but worked with the cornerbacks due to this size.

"I've never played cornerback before," said Johnson with a laugh. "I learned all of it in 20 minutes.

"I worked with coach Charles McMillian. I liked him a lot. He was laid back and he taught me how to backpedal and properly cover someone."

Johnson learned the ropes at the position before moving to individual drills to help his footwork and then settling into one-on-one and 7-on-7 work.

"In the 7-on-7 they didn't catch anything on my side" said Johnson. "I was playing cornerback. I have no idea who I was covering because there were so many guys. There was one dude a couple of inches taller than me but otherwise they were all about the same size. In the one-on-ones I did a pretty good job. I gave up one only catch."

Johnson had been to the A&M campus previously for a football game and enjoyed his return visit.

"I liked the campus a lot," Johnson said. "It's nice. It's comfortable and makes me feel at home."

Even so, yesterday was more of a business trip than a vacation outing for Johnson. Offers cannot be extended on campus, so Johnson and most of the other prospects will be calling A&M coaches during the next couple of days to see if an offer is forthcoming or not.

"I'm anxious to call him," Johnson said. "If they offer I probably will commit. I still would like to go to one or two camps but I won't go to as many as I am planning to."

Johnson previously indicated that he would like to camp at TCU, SMU, Oklahoma State and Tulsa. He had 61 tackles and three interceptions last season, earning all district honors.

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