The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2019 THE WOLVERINE 53   COMMITMENT PROFILE M ichigan has had a lot of success recruiting in New England over the last few years and signed another talented prospect from the area in Greenwich (Conn.) Brunswick four- star wide receiver Cornelius Johnson. The 6-3, 199-pounder committed to Michigan on first day of the early signing period Dec. 19. "I'm glad I made the decision I made," Johnson said. "It's always tough — it's such a hard decision, and it's your future. I was in the right mind space, though, and was able to make a good decision. "I feel very comfortable and at home. I can't wait to get out to Ann Arbor." Johnson's comfort level with Mich- igan must've been high because just a couple of weeks before pulling the trigger for the Wolverines, for- mer U-M wide receivers coach Jim McElwain left Michigan to become the head coach at Central Michigan. Analyst Ben McDaniels stepped into the role at least for a little while and allowed Johnson to still feel comfort- able enough to pick the Maize and Blue. "I've been able to build a good re- lationship with Coach McDaniels, and I think that's good for devel- opment," Johnson explained. "He's really good with schemes and tech- nique. I'm really glad that he's going to be there every day." Part of the reason why Johnson was so comfortable with Michigan is because of the whole package. It's more than just football at the Univer- sity of Michigan, and Johnson's fa- ther Claude broke down exactly how the family looked at U-M as a whole. "There are some schools that spike academically or spike athletically, but the overall rubric, when you put it all together, is best at Michigan. And that's coming from a Stanford grad," Claude Johnson said. "When you look at the community, the vibe, the fan base, the alumni network, relevance of the football program, the ascendency, the coaching staff, the players, the locker room, future teammates, facilities, stadium, the diversity, the cultural richness — all of these things, Michigan comes out on top." Johnson won't get to Michigan until June, but he's already ready. Rivals' No. 27 wide receiver and No. 171 overall prospect in the coun- try can't wait to keep ascending once in Ann Arbor. "In a perfect world I see myself going 100 percent on every play," he said. "That's it." Johnson stacked up several strong years at Brunswick. As a senior, he caught 50 passes for 826 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also carried the ball twice for 43 yards and a score, and had a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown. His efforts earned him the Gato- rade Player of the Year award for Connecticut. He also played in the All-American Bowl at San Antonio in January, catching two passes for 24 yards and two touchdowns in the all-star contest. He received USA Today All-Con- necticut first-team honors and All- New England Class A first-team ac- colades as a junior and a senior. His junior season he had 33 catches for 485 yards and seven touchdowns, and as a sophomore he tallied 732 receiving yards and 12 scores. — Brandon Brown Michigan Reels In Connecticut Pass Catcher Cornelius Johnson Johnson was tabbed as the Gatorade Player of the Year in Connecticut after catching 50 passes for 826 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior. PHOTO BY NICK LUCERO/COURTESY RIVALS.COM FILM EVALUATION Strengths: Cornelius Johnson has really developed well over the last couple of years, physically and technically. He's always been billed as a smooth, efficient route runner, and now he has the size, speed and strength to make him a very complete receiver. Areas Of Improvement: Because he plays in an area of the country that doesn't produce a ton of Division I talent, Johnson hasn't faced many defensive backs that can go step for step with him and hasn't seen a lot of effective press cover- age. He's going to have to get stronger and work on his technique in order to be as effective against press man as he is against soft coverage or zone schemes. Michigan Player Comparison: Johnson compares favorably to former Wolver- ine Derrick Alexander. Johnson checks in at about 6-3, 199 pounds as a senior in high school and Alexander was listed at 6-3, 190 pounds when he got to U-M. Both are thin but wiry and strong with great hands. Neither would necessarily be described as super speedy but both can run and they both do just about everything you need a wide receiver to do — make timely catches, run after the catch, play the jump ball, block downfield and run good routes. — Analysis from

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