Monday, July 30, 2012

Recapping 2012 Commit Drake Johnson

Part 2 of the 2012 Recap Series features RB Drake Johnson right out of Ann Arbor Pioneer HS, which is right across the street from the Big House.  Pretty much a no-brainer that he commited to the Wolverines.  Once the school offered Drake, he pulled the trigger right away.  I'm particularly a fan of guys like this because they really want to play for Michigan and that can't hurt in the locker room. Drake did come from a spread offense in high school, but I will be discussing the way in which he will fit into Michigan's 2012 offense and in the future.

Drake is listed right around 6'1" and 205 pounds.  With the graduation of Michael Shaw last year and only a few seasoned running backs on the roster, the coaching staff knew this could be a position of need in the near future.  Well Drake was a good step in the right direction.  He doesn't possess the "Barry Sanders" lateral speed, but he does have some amazing speed.  What most people don't know is that Drake is the 2-time state champion in the 110-meter hurdles, so needless to say the kid can fly.  If you aren't familiar with Pioneer, they did run a lot from the shotgun, which involved Drake taking direct snaps and running downhill.  We aren't sure how much Michigan will run the shotgun once Denard is gone, but having a kid on the roster that can do that from the running back position will be useful.



Here are the basic listings for Drake:


Height
6’0”
6’1”
6’1”
6’1”
Weight
205 lbs
200 lbs
205 lbs
205 lbs
Position
RB
RB
RB
RB
Rating
2*
3*
3*
3*
Position Rank
#160
NR
#77
#48
National Rank
#297
#250+
#300+
#247+




I can feel comfortable saying that Drake is a 3* recruit.  Of course, ESPN has him ranked as a 2* recruit, but ESPN's doesn't have the best football rankings and is one site.  Listed at the 6'0" - 6'1" range and right around 200-205 pounds, so great height and weight.  Drake will probably want to put on some more weight before and during his first few years, but I'm sure the coaching staff will be careful to avoid having him put on too much weight, which could minimize his incredible speed.   


The scouting report on Drake that I have gathered from most of the sites is that he has great quickness and breakaway speed, along with very good vision.  The one general area that he needed to work on was elusiveness, but he is a very solid downhill runner.  With that solid size along with the breakaway speed look for Drake to make an impact in the future.  I doubt that he will see time in 2012 barring an injury because he should have at least three running backs ahead of him on the depth chart.  In my personal opinion, RB was definitely a need and I think Johnson was definitely a great step in the direction of filling that need.


Michigan did pick up two other solid running backs in 2012 in Sione Houma and Dennis Norfleet so he will have to battle with them on the practice field for playing time.  I do, however, see Drake getting on the field and having a definite impact at Michigan in the future.  With the way the coaches are going after RB in the 2013 class, look for this position to be filled out quite well and not be an area of concern for years to come.  Drake should be very familiar with the Michigan tradition and should be a great fit into the type of program that Brady Hoke and company are attempting to build.  Definitely not the most talented or hyped recruit in Michigan's 2012 class, but he could be someone that changes the flow of the came in a few years.  He will probably be used in two running back sets to mix things up, since he is a smaller and faster running back. 

 
Here's his highlight video:

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