The Wolverine

August 2015 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 142 of 177

  COMMITMENT PROFILE Michigan's coaching staff has pri- oritized the New Jersey and Philadel- phia area in the 2016 class. Camden (N.J.) defensive end Ron Johnson be- came the first player in that area to reward the effort with a commitment June 25. "The New Jersey part of it might be something," he said. "Coach Partridge is really cool, and all the coaches are pretty cool." Former Paramus (N.J.) Catholic High head coach Chris Partridge is a recruiting staffer with the U-M foot- ball program and has spearheaded the effort to bring in several of the best players from a state that has seen its talent level increase in recent years. The 6-3, 221-pound Johnson is an example of the high-level players now coming out of the Garden State. He is ranked the No. 6 weakside defensive end and No. 109 player overall nationally — and that's good for just the fifth-best rising-senior in New Jersey. Johnson made the call at the con- clusion of an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor with a host of other prospects from the area (though without high school teammate Brad Hawkins Jr., who committed to U-M just a week after Johnson's pledge). The trip was enough to seal the deal. "I got to sit down with a lot of the coaches and just talk football," he said. "They just showed me some things I need to work on and some things that they would help me with. They put on my film and showed me. I like the coaches. I like the bond that I have with that group. Coach [Jim] Harbaugh surprised me by how he acts. " I just felt that it was the right time to do it now. It was my feel for the experience. I love it there." Johnson's goal is now to reel in some of the other prospects from his home area. Paramus (N.J.) Catho- lic defensive tackle Rashan Gary is one of the nation's top prospects — a five-star ranked No. 6 overall in the DE Ron Johnson Starts What Could Become A New Jersey Pipeline On June 25, Johnson became the first 2016 commit from New Jersey, an area the new coaching staff has specifically targeted along with Philadelphia. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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