January 6, 2010

The next Greg Jones?

The class of 2011 could be a great year for linebacker talent. Lawrence Thomas of Detroit Renaissance will almost certainly be a consensus All-American recruit, but he is not the only tackling machine in Michigan. SpartanMag.com caught up with Percy Johnson last night and got the latest on the Madison Heights Madison star.

Earlier this fall SpartanMag.com got word of a player at Madison Heights Madison High School was physically dominating the competition. That player turned out to be the 6-foot-1, 218-pound Johnson. We spoke with him about his junior year.

"We had a good year as a team (12-1). I had 107 tackles, 3 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles and 15 TFL's. I also rushed for 656 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. I made 1st Team All-MAC Silver and All-State."

Madison had an undefeated season come to an end in the playoffs when they ran into eventual state champion Jackson Lumen Christ. Many believe that Madison High was the second best team in Division 5. Johnson's strong junior campaign has led to many teams to begin to recruit him in earnest and he indicated that "Michigan, Michigan State and Cincinnati" have all been in recent contact with him.

One of the most interesting aspects of Johnson's recruitment is that teams are going to have to break out the GPS if they want to continue to pursue him. When we asked Johnson about how the team is going to look for next season he said the following.

"I think the team is going to be real nice, but I am moving at midterm, he said. I am going to be going to a school called Kenston in Ohio."

Kenston is a small school on the edge of suburbia outside of Cleveland. No doubt the coaches at Kenston are going to be very happy when they see Johnson walk into their office.

Though he will be moving, Johnson still intends on hitting numerous camps and combines around the Midwest. It is likely that once he hits these events, his recruiting stock will increase dramatically as the word will get out.

With Michigan State possibly only signing 1 linebacker to the class of 2010 (Max Bullough), the linebacker spot will be a top priority for next year. The Spartans have had their eye on Lawrence Thomas for several years and a player like Johnson could be an excellent compliment.

To see highlight video of Johnson in action, click the link below

Andrew Maxwell

Matt Dorsey's Take:

Johnson brings a lot of ability to the table. His moving from Michigan to Ohio should not impact the Spartans recruitment of him at all. The Spartans are going full blast after Thomas and at 6-foot-4, 230-pounds he has the build to be that LB in the mold of a Lavar Arrington or Julian Peterson. Johnson would be much more similar to a Greg Jones or Ron Stanley type of player. Pair these prospects up with guys like Chris Norman, Max Bullough and the other 2009 recruits and you have a bevy of talent.

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