The Wolverine

February 2024

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 67

26 THE WOLVERINE ❱ FEBRUARY 2024 BY CLAYTON SAYFIE B ack in February 2021, Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South five- star recruit Will Johnson was nearing a decision on his future. Michigan, the program his father, Deon, played for, was coming off a 2-4 season and speculation that head coach Jim Harbaugh was nearly fired. Johnson had the pick of the litter, with the opportunity to play for virtu- ally any top-tier school in the nation. At the time, many believed he'd pick between Michigan — the hometown school that he grew up rooting for — or somewhere he could win big right away, like Ohio State, which surged in his recruitment at one point. Impressed by then-newly-hired defensive coordi- nator Mike Macdonald and secondary coach Maurice Linguist, Johnson gave the Wolverines his pledge and became the face and leader of the 2022 recruit- ing class. Less than three years later, Johnson has lost just one game as a college player — 51-45 to TCU in the College Football Playoff semifinal in 2022 — compared to 28 victories. He's been a part of two Big Ten championships, a Rose Bowl victory and Michigan's 12th-ever national title. Johnson proved he could play for the hometown team and win big at the same 'PHENOMENAL' Sophomore Cornerback Will Johnson Makes Big-Time Plays In National Title Run In 2023, Johnson was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selec- tion and named a first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated, registering 27 tackles, 4 interceptions and 8 pass breakups. He capped off the season with a Defensive MVP performance in the CFP National Championship game. PHOTO BY DOMINICK SOKOTOFF

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - February 2024