The Wolverine

August 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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64 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2018   COMMITMENT PROFILE S tuart (Fla.) Martin County three- star athlete George Johnson III is modestly rated, but he's overly versatile and plays just about ev- ery position on the field. The 5-11, 175-pounder committed to Michigan as an athlete in late June and thinks what he brings to the table fits the Wolverines well. "I just think I'm an athlete," John- son said. "I'm someone who can make plays all over the field. It doesn't mat- ter if it's on offense or defense. I want to be someone who just gets the ball in my hands and makes a play." That description sounds like for- mer Heisman Trophy finalist Jabrill Peppers, and the coaching staff in Ann Arbor has compared Johnson to the current Cleveland Brown. John- son loves the assessment and plans to do everything he can to live up to the lofty resemblance. "They actually think I can do something that he didn't really do — throw the ball," he explained. "I bring something new to the table. They think I can do a lot for them." Martin County head coach Rod Harris is also excited to get his hands on Johnson. Harris just took over in January, so he's anxious to utilize the star senior in a variety of ways. "I'm going to use him every- where," Harris noted. "People al- ways say that, but I'm really going to. I'm going to use him as a slot and as an outside receiver. He's going to be a quarterback, and he'll be a cor- nerback for us too this year. "He will not come off the field too much. He has amazing hands, quick- ness and ridiculous strength for his size. I think he's the second strongest player on our team in terms of bench, squat and power clean. "When he gets to Michigan he's going to be close to ready to compete from day one based on his strength and all of his other abilities." Getting to Michigan is still months away for Johnson, but even as a Flor- ida native he knows he's a Wolver- ine. He knew it almost immediately when he arrived in Ann Arbor for his official visit in late June. "I just knew when I walked into The Big House," he recalled. "When I had on that uniform I was sitting around the other recruits and I felt it. I actu- ally walked away from them to just be by myself. I went to about the 20-yard line, and I just imagined myself run- ning routes and catching passes in that uniform and in that stadium. "When I was doing that it just felt like home. I knew that's where I wanted to be. My gut was telling me, 'George, this is home.'" As a junior, Johnson threw for 1,366 yards and 14 touchdowns, and rushed for 526 yards and seven scores. He's done a little bit of ev- erything for Martin County over the last three years and has earned many accolades because of it. He was honorable mention all-area as a freshman and was upgraded to the first team as a sophomore by He was also a mem- ber of the Associated Press Class 7A All-State second team and the Flori- Class 7A All-State first team as a sophomore. Last year, he repeated the first-team all-area nod. He also shines on the basketball court and was a first-team all-area selection as a point guard by, making him the lone male athlete on the Treasure Coast to earn first-team honors in two sports last year. He averaged 13.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game to pace the Tigers in each category. Johnson, who has big expectations as a senior, was listed at No. 3 on the 2018-19 preseason Super 11, a ranking of the area's top football players. — Brandon Brown Versatile Florida Athlete George Johnson III Can Do It All FILM EVALUATION Strengths: G eorge Johnson's strength is his versatility. He really does it all on the football field. He has good speed, great vision, ex- cellent balance and a high football IQ. He's more than serviceable as a dual-threat quarterback and can really throw the ball, making him a dynamic weapon on offense. Areas Of Improvement: Because Johnson plays so many positions, he is never really focused on one area. If he ends up being mostly a wide receiver at Michigan, which looks like the plan, he'll have to concen- trate on being a better route runner and also learn to block in the run- ning game. Michigan Player Comparison: Johnson was recruited by Michigan to be a more offensive-minded ver- sion of Jabrill Peppers. Johnson isn't nearly as highly rated, but skill wise he does a lot of what Peppers did in high school. He carries the ball out of the backfield, plays receiver, lines up at quarterback and plays a va- riety of positions in the secondary. — Analysis from Johnson was named's Male Athlete of the Year in 2017-18 after being the only player to earn first-team all-area honors in two different sports (football and basketball). PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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