Michigan starts off the early signing period on a positive note, picking up Greenwich, Connecticut 4-star wide receiver Cornelius Johnson, who fills a much needed hole in the roster at outside receiver.
#GoBlue 〽️ pic.twitter.com/W4CAYgb0Wz— Cornelius Johnson (@CorneliusNation) December 19, 2018
This is a recruitment where circumstances out of Michigan’s control finally went its way. Johnson seemed to be favoring Stanford and Notre Dame over Michigan for a while, until both those schools filled up at the position.
The race quickly shifted to one between Michigan and Penn State. This is when Michigan’s advantages started kicking in. The staff’s evaluations in New England under Don Brown have been excellent, and they were the first school to recognize Johnson’s talent. This long standing relationship helped give the Wolverines the edge.
Also helping Michigan’s case was the fact that Johnson’s mother is an alum and still has family in the Detroit area. The familial factor has been strong for Johnson, and was a big reason Stanford was originally the favorite, since his dad is a Cardinal graduate.
Johnson is either the fourth or fifth wide receiver in the class, depending on what side of the ball Mike Sainristil plays. At 6-foot-3, though, Johnson is the tallest in the class by three inches. The staff is filling the class with speedy slot devils, which is good, but there still needs to be the outside presence to win jump balls. After Nico Collins and Tarik Black leave, there wasn’t going to be someone to fill that role, until Johnson came along.
Using that long frame, Johnson caught 45 passes for 779 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior. He led his Brunswick School team to an 8-2 record on the season.
After putting out some outstanding senior tape, the opinion about Johnson — who is ranked 256th in the country and the 39th-ranked wide receiver — is he’s still underrated. He could get a rating bump before the services finalize their rankings.
With the flurry of commitments happening today, I’m not going to bother to say where Michigan’s class ranks in the country, since it’ll probably have changed by the time you read this. But Johnson is the 26th commit and the 15th 4-star.
Here’s Johnson’s aforementioned senior film: