Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Commitment Profile: Drake Johnson

Name: Drake Johnson

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Position: RB

Ratings: ESPN – 2* (72), Scout – 2*, 247 Sports - NR*

Recruitment: As you'll see from his offers list below, this wasn't a big recruiting battle. Basically Johnson woke up one morning and discovered that Michigan had offered him, and with the Wolverines being his dream school, he committed instantly. Easy as that.

Offers: Michigan, Eastern Michigan.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’1 and around 205lbs, with a no reported 40 yard dash time. However he is a very successful track athlete and has set numerous records in that field, so we can assume he's fast, and at 200lbs, that's a very good sign. So far as a senior he's amassed 2757 yards and 37TDs according to one of our blog commenters!

ESPN Analysis: Johnson has the size and athleticism for the running back position at the major level of competition; it appears his frame is capable of handling additional bulk over time. Can run inside and out, possessing the ability to break tackles in the open field.

Has quick feet which combined with his good vision allow him to hit the holes fairly swiftly. Also has good hands and can be a threat out of the backfield as a receiver; does his best work on the outside in open space.

He's an under the radar prospect with the size and speed combination to warrant further evaluations later in the year; his current level of competition might be a cause for concern.

Improvements: It's an outrageously positive review for someone with a rating of 72; I guess his low ratings reflect the fact that he didn't show up to many camps/combines.

Film Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoNlxe8HgLc

Final Thoughts: As with all Michigan commits who join the fold with bad ratings, we pass them off as sleeper prospects who will eventually turn into great discoveries! With Johnson's combination of size and speed, there's no reason to believe he isn't a true sleeper prospect who could develop into a real football talent.

Playing time will be hard to come by for him early on, but apparently he's good at returning kicks and punts, so he could see the field that way. Rawls, Hayes and others will occupy the backfield for at least a couple years before Johnson challenges for a starting role.

Overall I'm generally always happy with a commitment, especially such an athletic one as this. However, not all evaluations of Johnson will be that good, after all there must be a reason why only UM and EMU thought him to be worthy of an offer. Is he a track star playing football? Or the other way round, only time will tell.

Michigan wanted a running back in this class, and this should be him. With only two theoretical spaces left in this class, I don't think Michigan should be looking at another RB. A WR and a DB/OL should be what rounds out the class. This of course means that there would be no place for Brionte Dunn; the only way he gets in this class is if Michigan has more departures and thus more spaces available.

While we're on the subject of Dunn, my optimism on his recruitment has died down dramatically after the recent surge of OSU. The Buckeyes are winning games again, and that can't hurt their chances with Dunn. He visited the Buckeyes for their game against Wisky and had a great time, and he still hasn't visited Michigan officially yet.


  1. Benji,
    Do you think this will speed up some others time table?

  2. Well although nobody knew who he was before now, if the coaches like him, I like him. Hopefully he is our diamond in the rough.

  3. this penn state coach is a sick bastard have you guys read the report about what he did to those 8 boys...how you any adult let alone his boss joe paterno not report any of this to the police...

    heres a link that will let you read the whoe report


  4. Piece of Sh*t....this stuff reads like a horror story...

  5. i know right and granted it has nothing to do with recruiting violations or joe pa breaking any rules theres a moral standard at which someone that respected in a university should be held at and he needs to be held responsible for the indirect role he played in this...whether thats firing him...asking him to step down or whatever, its sad to say but i think joe pa has run his course, and it sucks he might have to go out like this but it is what it is

  6. Being a workhorse back and having 95% of the teams offense going through his hands I'm amazed his production is increasing game by game. You'd figure with playoff caliber teams game planning "all we have to do is tackle Drake" that his numbers would be dropping off like Houmas did this weekend, but no. He can be taught ball security, he can be taught, fundamentals, but nobody can teach you motor.

  7. I agree Michael...like at All-Day AP, he had fumble problems his first few seasons in the pros that have been pretty much cleared up...

  8. Sometimes just gotta have faith in the coaches even if it seems like they just offer some of these guys because they are from Michigan. This guy has bad case of Fumblitis with his lack of ball security and has only straight line speed with no cut ability. He also goes up against less than average opponents. I really thought the staff would reserve the last few spots for elite talent at wide receiver/Oline/and D

  9. Johnson has national caliber speed. Ran 13.7 in 110m hurdles at State last year. Also won the event his sophomore year. Could three-peat this year.

    He did not camp prior to his Jr year because PiHi kids trained for and competed in New Balance National High School Championship in Greensboro, NC. They won the shuttle hurdle Nat'l Championship.

    Camped some this summer, but PiHi had coaching change and the PiHi athletes were learning new system. Johnson committed to his team, not a bad thing.

    PiHi coaches protect him like crasy - sometimes to his disservice. He never gets hit in practice, and has no assignments when not carrying the ball.

    During Johnson's time at PiHi, he's never had a RD coach - kind of coaches himself.

    Eval - a big, tough, fast diamond in the rough

  10. Just watch the youtube link. The guy runs like Eric Dickerson. Lets hope so.

  11. update: Drake is now 3Star on both 247 and Scout.
    on Scout jumped from #133 RB to #77.
    Might jump more in later evaluations.

  12. my special friend who is a sports bookmaker says that Drake Johnson is going to be a very successful player, even a big football star