January 24, 2008

Nutt visits Florida standout athlete

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt made an in-home visit on Largo, Fla. athlete Leonard Johnson on Thursday, but the bigger news is that Johnson may have picked up an offer from Michigan.

"Man on man on man, that coach is for real," Johnson said about the Rebels new head coach. "He is really something special. I loved it."

Johnson said that Nutt met with him and his family which includes his aunt, and they spent time talking football and watching football, which included some highlight reels that the staff had not previously seen."

Nutt wasn't the only one recruiting Johnson.

Johnson former high school teammate, Rebel wide receiver Dexter McCluster got into the act.

"He was like texting me all day, telling me how for real coach Nutt and about how great it is at Ole Miss.

Despite Nutt's performance, it wasn't enough to land a commitment from Johnson, who has some plans between now and signing day.

"I'm not going anywhere this weekend," Johnson said. "I'm going to take the test. Then the next week, the visit will be between West Virginia and Michigan."

Johnson said that he had been contacted by a Michigan coach and told that he had been okayed for a scholarship offer by the defensive coordinator, but they needed to run it by the "big guy" (head coach Rich Rodriquez).

He said he was expecting a call back later on Thursday night that might confirm the offer.

"If Michigan offers, watch out," Johnson said.

He lists Ole Miss, South Florida, Iowa State and West Virginia as his top four right now.

"If Michigan offers, that changes," he said. "Well, at least I'll have a top five, I don't want to offend anyone or get in trouble.

The sleeper team in the group could be the Bulls, who Johnson says has been "dogging him" (recruiting him hard).

Johnson committed to Iowa State in early January, but that hasn't slowed down the recruiting process for the athlete.

He visited South Florida on Jan. 11 and followed that with a visit to Ole Miss last weekend.

The 5-foot-10, 177 pound Johnson played quarterback in his four year career at Largo, but may project as a defensive back at the college level.

Johnson recently played in the FACA all-star game and made the most of it. Johnson ended up starting for his team in the game ahead of several much more experienced and very talented corners. He had six tackles and forced a fumble.

Johnson's Division I scholarship offer list for football around a dozen schools, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Memphis, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Purdue, South Florida, Troy and West Virginia, and Iowa State.

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