The Wolverine

May 2021 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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52 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2021 BY EJ HOLLAND M ichigan commits Will Johnson and Kody Jones have both re- ceived invitations to the second an- nual Pylon 7v7 All-American Game. Pylon 7v7, the most competitive seven-on-seven circuit in the coun- try, hosted its inaugural All-American Game at AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys) in Arlington, Texas, in January. Three Michigan signees participated in the event — J.J. McCar- thy, Junior Colson and Cristian Dixon. Johnson and Jones now have an op- portunity to follow in their footsteps. A five-star cornerback ranked No. 13 overall nationally, Johnson is the highest-rated Michigan commit since wideout Donovan Peoples-Jones (No. 12) in 2017. The 6-2, 182-pound Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South product committed to Michigan over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC and a slew of other major programs. Johnson was terrific as a junior, locking down his side of the field all season long and also making plays on the offensive side of the ball at wide receiver. Johnson plays for Sound Mind Sound Body's Max Ex team on the seven-on-seven circuit and helped lead his team to the semifinals at Py- lon Indianapolis last month. "It means a lot to follow up a lot of big-time players," Johnson said. "It's just an honor to have a chance to compete with a lot of top seven- on-seven players." Jones, a four-star defensive back from Germantown (Tenn.) High, is a versatile prospect that was recruited to play both cornerback and safety in Ann Arbor. He picked U-M over offers from Auburn, Florida State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee and others in February. Jones played exclusively at corner for PPA Memphis in Indianapolis and was one of the tournament's top overall performers. "It's amazing to get the invitation," Jones said. "It means a lot to have an opportunity to compete against the best in the country." lists the 6-0, 180 pounder as the No. 11 prospect in Tennessee and the No. 17 safety in the nation. Johnson and Jones both plan to make their official visits to Michigan in June. WILL JOHNSON TRYING TO GET MORE STARS TO JOIN MICHIGAN'S 2022 CLASS Five-star Michigan cornerback commit Will Johnson is the face of Michigan's 2022 recruiting class. Johnson committed to the Wolver- ines in February and has been work- ing hard to help the Wolverines lure more talent to Ann Arbor. Like star quarterback J.J. McCarthy last cycle, Johnson is a vocal leader on the trail. At the Pylon 7v7 tournament in Indianapolis last month, Johnson had a chance to play with one of Michi- gan's top targets in four-star prospect Dillon Tatum,'s No. 18 athlete nationally. Johnson and Tatum locked things down in the secondary for Max Ex and led their team to the semifinals. Johnson and Tatum are enjoying play- ing with each other on the club seven- on-seven circuit this offseason. And yes, Johnson is constantly in his ear. "We know we can be a great duo on the same side," Johnson said. "My pitch to him is the best players in Michigan go to Michigan. Obviously, his top two [U-M and Michigan State] aren't very comparable. Michigan is the best fit for him, in my opinion." Shortly after the tournament came to an end, Johnson raced back to Michi- gan to meet up with five-star defensive tackle Walter Nolen, who was in Ann Arbor for a self-guided unofficial visit. Unfortunately, Johnson was unable to catch him before he left. Still, John- son and his father, ex-Wolverine Deon Johnson, have been working on No- len, the No. 3 overall prospect nation- ally per, and his family. "Walter isn't a big social media guy," Johnson said. "I've talked to him, and my dad talked to his dad a little bit. It would be huge to add him to the class. It would put peo- ple on notice that we're really doing something special. I think more guys would want to join us." Johnson has also been working to add more talent to U-M's secondary. His top two targets are Chace Biddle,'s No. 10 safety and No. 123 overall prospect nationally, and four- star Myles Pollard,'s No. 31 cornerback in the land. "With Chace Biddle, it's been more about building the secondary," John- son said. "We both have a great rela- tionship with Coach Mo [U-M assis- tant Maurice Linguist]. We know that we'd complement each other well. "With Myles, it's the same thing. We know we'd lock it down on oppo- site sides of each other. With two tall, long corners on the outside, it would be great. I just got off a Zoom with Myles and the whole staff. We're working hard on him." Johnson added that he's also work- ing on some other highly touted pros- pects on the defensive side of the ball. "I've been working on [Rivals250 linebacker] Sebastian Cheeks," John- son said. "He might be our top line- backer target. I've also been working on [four-star defensive lineman] Ma- rio Eugenio and [Rivals250 defensive lineman] Justice Finkley, too. "I'm probably not saying them all, but I'm doing my best to get more guys to join us."   MICHIGAN RECRUITING Two U-M Commits Named All-Americans Kody Jones, a four-star defensive back from Germantown (Tenn.) High, received an invita- tion to participate in the second annual Pylon 7v7 All-American Game in January 2022. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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