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September 9, 2005

Recruiting: Scouting Micah Johnson (The Next Ron Simmons?)'s #1 DT in the Country will be in Athens to watch SC vs. UGA. Micah Johnson is 6'2" 270 lb. wrecking ball that plays LB and RB in high school.

According to his Junior year, Johnson rushed for over 1,200 yards and scored 17 touchdowns in just six games on offense. He also made 173 tackles on defense despite rarely playing in the second half. In the state playoffs he had 310 yards rushing 2 TDs and 17 tackles. His Senior year has been no disappointment either.

The tricky thing...he wants to play Linebacker in college. Every school that's recruiting him has to promise that he'll get his shot at LB first. And he will. But, if you're looking for a comparison for this kid. Consider late 70s/early 80s FSU nose guard Ron Simmons.

[Photo: Ron Simmons -- Defensive Tackle. Wrestler. Snazzy Dresser. Renaissance man]

Most guys my age remember Simmons more as Farooq from the WWF than as a nose guard that averaged about 100 tackles a year. Simmons was the signature recruit for Bobby Bowden at FSU and his #50 is retired there. Bowden has called him the kid that unlocked that program's potential.

Bowden said in this interview about coaching Simmons:
"Bowden used to joke about how hard he worked to coach Simmons, about how he had to teach him all his moves. To one reporter who asked for the "coaching secret," Bowden said that when the time was right, he'd send specific, written instructions to Simmons in the defensive huddle. "I'd write it down on a slip of paper and send it out onto the field to be handed to Simmons," Bowden laughed. "It just said 'Now!'"

Simmons was smaller than Micah is now. Although all NGs were smaller back then.

Comparing a potential DT to Ron Simmons isn't really fair. It's not as unfair as comparing a running back to Herschel, but it's lofty praise. A more fair way to say it, might be...."Micah Johnson is what a modern day Ron Simmons would look like coming out of high school." When you watch his film, the thing that amazes you is his footwork and balance for a kid that size. He is MOVING.

Now, will Micah be able to properly execute a Double Powerbomb or a Spinebuster like big Ron Simmons? Will he have the mic skills that Simmons woefully lacked? How will he handle adversity when guys like Larry Zybysko and Arn Anderson are trying to break his legs or hitting him with steel chairs? Who knows. But I know this kid can play football.

[Photo: Arn Anderson says the Horsemen were never big on Farooq, but they love Micah.]

If you see him at the Dawg Walk, give him a Go Dawgs! We could use a kid like this at MLB, DT or Bus Driver. He's just special.

It sounds like it might be Michigan vs. UGA for this one. But who knows. Everyone and their mother is recruiting him.

For more on Simmons, check out this "Where are They Now" piece on him from Athlon.


Joey said...

I used to love the Nation of Domination. I always felt bad for Farooq; he never seemed to be enjoying himself. But can you blame the guy? He went from having his number retired at FSU--I think he is one of only two 'Noles to have earned that privilege--to hanging out with an idiot like D-Lo (sp?) Brown.

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