January 19, 2011

Powerful Johnson winding down recruiting

If you thought Mickey Johnson was strong, you may have to rethink that thought. Not because the 6-foot-1, 310-pound defensive tackle is weak.

On the contrary, he's very strong. In fact, he was one of the strongest high schoolers in all of Louisiana last year as a junior.

While football may be what Johnson does best, powerlifting can't be far behind. Last year at the Louisiana High School Powerlifting Association State Championship Johnson squatted 610 pounds, benched 455 pounds and dead-lifted 500 pounds to win the super-heavyweight title.

"I won state last year and I've broken my bench record twice. I got 500 in practice last week so I'm going to try that next week at regionals," Johnson said.

The only problem is Johnson will have to decide whether or not to take an official visit out west if he wants to defend his title.

"I'm going to try and work in an official visit to Arizona next week. It's not set in stone yet so I'm not sure yet. I have a powerlifting meet that weekend," Johnson said.

One visit is for certain though, a trip to Knoxville this weekend. Tennessee coaches Terry Joseph and Justin Wilcox have been by to check on him recently and make sure he was still making the visit. He said he's excited to see what's in store in on The Hill.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the academic program. I hear it's very prestigious. Also, the different facilities they will have coming in. The weight room and that kind of stuff," Johnson said.

This past weekend he was in Fayetteville, Ark., to check out what the University of Arkansas had to offer.

"It was great. The coaches showed a lot of love and so did the fans, especially since that's the only team in Arkansas. The fans are crazy about football and know recruiting," Johnson said about his visit to Razorback country. "The guy sitting next to me on the plane actually knew who I was and he follows recruiting."

While the Wildcats have seemingly come out of left field for Johnson, he said he had early interest in them and renewed interest from Arizona's coaching staff has made an Arizona visit a possibility.

"I had interest in Arizona at the beginning of the year but then they stopped sending mail. Then coach (Garret) Chachere saw that I had interest in the West Coast and he came down to my school and visited me. I just want to give them a chance to recruit me and I want to see what they're about," Johnson said.

One thing Johnson is looking at when it comes to deciding where his college home will be is the relationship with the coaching staffs.

"The relationship with the coaches is very important. Coming up, hopefully one day I'll have a chance to go to the NFL Draft and that coach could help say great things about me," Johnson said.

Rivals.com ranks Johnson a four-star prospect.

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