Trieu: Michigan 'turning up' pursuit of four-star TE Theo Johnson
Michigan is making steady progress with Windsor (Ontario) Holy Names tight end Theo Johnson. At one point, the recruiting battle was more regional with schools like Penn State and Iowa the primary competition.
While those schools are still in the mix, the rest of the country has found out about Johnson. He is over 6-foot-6, runs the 40-yard dash in the 4.6-second range and after putting in a lot of time in the weight room, now looks college ready at 240 pounds despite still having another year of high school left.
That has brought schools like Alabama, Georgia and others from the south into the mix.
Johnson is still working out his official visits. He starts with Iowa this weekend. Since Michigan is very drivable from Windsor, he will take an unofficial, rather than an official, to Michigan on June 21st. The Wolverines have recruited him since he camped there last summer but the intensity has recently increased.
“I feel like they’ve definitely been turning it up for the past little while,” Johnson said. “I’ve been talking to (tight ends coach Sherrone Moore) a lot more. It’s been good. I feel comfortable with a lot of the staff.”
Johnson listed Michigan, Georgia and Penn State as the schools who he is in contact with the most, with the caveat that just because a school contacts him more than the others doesn't put them in the lead.
What will are three factors that Johnson is focused on.
“First, somewhat of the coaching stability,” he said. “That's something you can't predict too much, so I say somewhat of stability. Just to know next year you won't have a whole new coaching staff. Then how I fit into the offensive scheme, how they do things and how I see myself fitting into that particular offense.
"The third thing, one that's really important, is the fit with the overall culture of the team and the overall feel of the guys. Just see myself getting along with the players and being friends with a lot of the guys because I'll be spending every day with them, so I need to make sure I get along with all of them.”
From here, Johnson’s plan will be to take a few summer visits, then leave the rest of his officials for fall with the hope of being committed by the end of October.
With him now scheduled to be on campus for what will be a talent-laden visit weekend at Michigan on the 21st, the Wolverines hope to continue ascending in the race.
Johnson is rated a four-star prospect and is ranked the No. 5 tight end recruit overall by 247Sports.
Wolverines offer MSU legacy
Michigan extended an offer to Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood class of 2021 tight end Jake Briningstool on Monday.
Briningstool, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound four-star, has been a fast-rising prospect who went from zero Power Five offers going into April to now approaching 20.
Michigan’s staff was able to see him at Saturday’s Lindenwood Mega-Camp in St. Charles, Missouri.
Briningstool’s father, Tony, played linebacker at Michigan State.
UM in top group for in-state safety
West Bloomfield four-star safety Makari Paige named Michigan to his top seven. The 6-foot-3, 182-pound senior-to-be has been a target of the Wolverines’ for some time.
The other schools in his top seven are Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Kentucky.
Of those schools, Ohio State, where Paige is taking an official visit with the weekend of June 21st, and Penn State, who he visited at the end of May, appear to be Michigan’s stiffest competition.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.