One of Michigan’s latest 2019 targets is not too far from Ann Arbor and is becoming a hometown name that many will take note of soon.
Sam Johnson is from the Great Lakes state, grew up a Michigan fan and has a common bond with several players since he’s competed against them in high school. The 6-foot-4, 195 pound Walled Lake native is a 2019 three-star and pro-style quarterback (247Sports) that received news on Friday that he was offered a scholarship from Michigan.
Johnson currently has 15 offers from Indiana, Illinois, Syracuse, Cincinnati, among others. He was also the first player in the state of Michigan to earn a scholarship offer in 8th grade.
Video from Johnson in the 5th annual Camp Pride event over the weekend in Pontiac, Michigan can be found here.
Maize n Brew caught up with Sam over the weekend about his Michigan offer and to learn more about his connection with several current players. We also checked in with his quarterbacks coach to gain perspective about Sam’s development.
“Being offered by Michigan means a lot, my family are big Michigan fans, plus it’s my hometown and I understand the rivalry.” Johnson said. “Coach Harbaugh told me about the offer after my workout since he was at my school on Friday.”
Johnson also explained what factors will play in his school decision and when he plans to visit U-M.
“Will be based on academics, the fan base, school spirit, and does the offense fit my style of play.
“Yes, I definitely plan on getting back up there. I’ve been to Michigan a lot, I’ve camped there a lot as well. Been all over campus, plus I know a lot of players on the team that I played against.”
Johnson created a bond and friendship with several current players since competing against them in high school. He’s also worked out with them and attended events with players.
“I played against Jaylen Kelly-Powell, Ambry Thomas and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Lavert Hill, and Big Mike (Onwenu) still keep in touch, but I’m really close with Ambry, Jaylen and Lavert.”
He’s also attended events in the past, this one being the first Barbecue at The Big House under Coach Harbaugh.
Sam also said he plans to make a college decision “sometime in the spring after talking with my family and coaches.”
From the Eyes of His Coach
Coach Dooley is the quarterbacks coach for Walled Lake Western and knows what kind of player Johnson is and can become before college.
“What’s impressed me most about Sam’s progression is his willingness to strive for perfection within the entire craft, he’s a film junky,” Dooley said. “He’s improved on consistent his arm slot a ton. He can make platform and non-platform throw. It’s cleaner and smooth stroke.”
Dooley has known Sam for several years and understood he was going to be a special athlete.
“When Sam was nine years old, his hands were so big he aimed the ball and threw three quarters,” he said. “He was much taller than his teammates. He was searching for consistent accuracy at the youth level. Now accuracy has become a strength and understands coverage really well.”
Dooley knows first hand what kind of player Johnson can become with one more year to play at the high school level.
“Sam is one of the most talented guys I’ve ever worked with,” Dooley said. “He was a lump of clay and continues through this metamorphosis. He’s gonna be a big man. He will easily stand at 6’4, 235 pounds in college.”
Coach Dooley commented on why he felt Michigan offered him the opportunity. “What led Harbaugh to offer Sam was simply arm talent, accuracy and his approach to the craft . It’s clear to see that this guy has the ‘it’.”
While Sam still has time to soak it all in and decide on the right school, wherever he ends up, will be getting a rising star from Michigan that definitely has what it takes at the next level.
Follow David Noe on Twitter @DavidRNoe for everything and anything Michigan football.