May 9, 2007
Johnson ready for starting & starring role
Lake Orion High School head coach Chris Bell felt it was only a matter of time before former star player Will Johnson made an impact for the Wolverines. After contributing lat year as a key backup along the defensive line, the time is now for Johnson to prove a difference-maker for Michigan
Graded a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, Johnson, a redshirt junior, was deemed the No. 2 prospect in the state of Michigan, but wasn't as highly regarded nationally. He was the No. 14 defensive tackle in the country, though much of his low ranking was due to the fact Johnson didn't play as a senior, sitting out the entire year with a knee injury. His absence from the lineup set him back physically, and was difficult for him mentally.
"You're talking about a leader, a great kid, a football player, who was forced to watch the game from the sidelines in his senior season - it was crushing," Bell said. "The way he has battled back from that obstacle is a great example for his current teammates and for the kids I coach. I talk about him a lot with our team, talk about how you can overcome adversity if you're willing to work hard."
Johnson, 6-5, 291, immediately impressed his U-M coaches with that work ethic and his willingness to get better.
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