Hello: Carvin Johnson

Submitted by Tim on November 3rd, 2009 at 8:40 PM

Right. Michigan gains commitment from defensive back. There was much rejoicing? We'll find out after the informative update.

OK, now that I've had time to collect my thoughts, Michigan has gained a commitment from Louisiana Safety Carvin Johnson. Time for the...

Informative Update?

Yes, informative update. I thought Brian was the only one around here with a bolded alter ego though.

He's not.

Uh, OK. On to the update.



Scout Rivals ESPN
NR S NR DB Not in Database

As you can see, Johnson is a COMPLETE STUD that the recruiting services ABSOLUTELY LOVE and have even HEARD OF. One of the few snippets out there on him comes from his coach, as shared by Josh Helmholdt in the Free Press:

Johnson is not even ranked on Rivals.com and his film has not made its way around the nation. Rummel coach Jay Roth said Johnson is a player who is effective in both pass coverage and run support.

“He’s a 6-1, 195-pound safety who is very aggressive and physical,” Roth said.

You could say that about pretty much any safety, even guys that have profiles on all three recruiting services! On a more serious note, he's NewOrleans.com's #48 player in the state of Louisiana (Drew Dileo is #46).

Johnson is a two-sport starter, serving as an outfielder on the Raiders baseball team. Football is clearly his best sport. "He's a fierce hitter. He has great hands and good instincts for the ball," said Rummel Head Coach Jay Roth.

Nice backhanded complement about the kid's baseball ability. I can just tell we all need more Jay Roth in our lives:

The Raider defense, led by defensive lineman Myles O' Brien, linebackers Chris Randle and Phil Helmstetter and safety Carvin Johnson, has been superb, according to Roth. "Our defense is the reason we are 5-0. The defensive coaches and players carry a certain swagger. They practice hard, study film and they are experienced."

Hooray. He was also the single reason NewOrleans.com saw fit to rank his school in its preseason top 10.

10) RUMMEL--Carvin Johnson is a stud on defense and on punt returns

So, yeah, he's probably the most important player on a good team (9-0 on the season, only allowing 8.3 points per game to opponents). That probably means at least 3 stars when the dust settles.


The Helmholdt article again comes in handy:

Michigan was one of the first to recognize Johnson’s talents. “It was early on in the spring that they offered me,” Johnson reported. “They say I fit pretty well in their defense. If I were to go there, I would get a chance to play early on..." Besides U-M, Johnson has received scholarship offers from Minnesota, Utah, Tulane and Tulsa.

The timing on the Michigan offer is odd, considering most had never heard of the guy until his official visit for the Penn State game. He may be a true sleeper, since the Wolverines thought him offer-worthy so long ago, but no other suitors have come a-callin'. For the record, his Rivals profile also lists offers from Louisiana Tech and Northern Illinois.


Recruits with no profiles are typically pretty difficult to find stats on. However, Coach Roth comes through for us again:

Carvin Johnson has done everything we could possibly ask for--help at wide receiver on offense, stars at defensive back and has returned three punts for touchdowns.

The rest of the information comes in snippets like this...

After a Carvin Johnson interception,

...from various game stories. His full season stats should take a while to dig up and compile, but he has at least 3 interceptions on the year, as well.


The NewOrleans.com article pegs him at 4.68, which doesn't sound fake at all for a BCS-caliber safety. In fact, I give it negative one FAKE out of three.


Players without recruiting profiles do not have highlight videos available on the internet. That's just the way it is. Hopefully, there will be some freely-available video sometime soon.


Flimsy evidence ranges from "We are recruiting sites and we have never heard of this kid" to "we cover high school football in the area, and this guy is the Tim Tebow of defense." Wide ranging indeed. I would tend to believe a little bit of both. When recruiting sites haven't heard of a guy despite his BCS offers, there's a reason for that. When his high school is ranked in the preseason, and the only reason given by a local media outlet is his mere presence on the team, there's also a reason for that.

His interceptions and punt returns speak to both his athleticism and ball skills. His defense's performance against some pretty good talent in New Orleans area, with him as the star of said defense, speaks to the fact that he could probably start for Michigan Saturday if he showed up in Ann Arbor tomorrow.

With a dearth of quality bodies (...or any bodies) at safety for Michigan right now, any defensive back is a good defensive back. The staff clearly loves him and thinks they've uncovered a sleeper, given the early offer. He'll probably be a special-teamer in year 1 (or after a redshirt), and work his way into the defensive rotation by his third year on campus.


None. Michigan still needs a million more defensive backs of all varieties. A prospect like this certainly won't do anything to scare away more highly-rated guys, and if he does, the Michigan coaches need merely pop in a lowlight tape from this year's defense. He does potentially help out down the road, without scaring anyone away.

You'd like to see the remainder of Michigan's defensive back pickups be of the 4/5-star type, but given the early offer, this is a "trust the coaches" pickup.

Etc. Shoutout to mgouser umhero for making my Googlestalk slightly easier. Posbang this post, folks.



November 3rd, 2009 at 9:32 PM ^

Even happier that he might be a true safety prospect. But no big offers scares me a little. Yes we all know Pat White was a nobody and RR turned him into a giant killer of a QB but could we please wait until we are out of the running for some of the higher rated options before we start taking fliers on low rated small offer recruits.

I am not bashing on the kid but to not be rated at this point of the season might say something about his top end ability. Here's hoping that we still land the Knights, Grimes, and Christians of this class because lets face it, Michigan needs help now and can't wait for "projects" to mature.


November 3rd, 2009 at 9:45 PM ^

The offer came a long, long time ago, when Michigan was still in the thick of things for a number of highly-rated recruits (as they still are).

Obviously, they evaluate him differently (read: at all) than do the recruiting sites. Considering they have film on the kid and the sites don't, I'd take the coaches' evaluation at this time.


November 4th, 2009 at 2:52 AM ^

offered him shows a lot. They have been a very very good program this decade and they haven't done it just by recruiting Mormons. They've also evaluated talent very well and found guys that fit their schemes. We need a lot of help on D and we have plenty of scholarships left to offer. I bet when ESPN evaluates him the give me a pretty decent score. We'll likely see soon.

West Texas Blue

November 3rd, 2009 at 9:39 PM ^

We probably need to take 27-28 kids in this class to bring our defensive numbers up to much better levels. I really believe the coaching staff is going to have to be very selective with 5th year scholarhips in order to keep us at the 85 man limit. That, or we're going to stop recruiting some kids who are already committed. Johnson fills a need at safety, so glad to have the kid. We still need 2-3 CBs, 1-2 safetys, 2 LBs, and another DL.

mad magician

November 3rd, 2009 at 9:39 PM ^

Brandent Englemon? Let's hope. That would mean a moderately talented but competent safety. Which, as I'm sure I need not say aloud, would be an upgrade. Right now we need football players, Carvin Johnson is a football player, I am happy as a parrot. Go Blue


November 3rd, 2009 at 9:53 PM ^

Wow, this kid was the lone bright spot to come out of the PSU game. If he wants to come here even after witnessing that massacre, then I'm all for it!


November 3rd, 2009 at 9:55 PM ^

Offers from Utah and Minny make me think that he is not a total shot in the dark, and any safety is a good safety at this point. As others have pointed out, this might also help a bit with creating a pipeline into the talent-rich Louisiana area, or at least at Rummel.

RR and GERG are coaches with legit coaches who have had success at other schools - I will "trust" them until I see conclusive evidence that they don't have an eye for talent evaluation.


November 4th, 2009 at 6:56 AM ^

"Sit them until their 3rd year" I really don't think Michigan has that luxury to sit a guy down for 3 yrs and wait for him to develop. Michigan needs help next year not 2012.

matty blue

November 4th, 2009 at 11:57 AM ^

are few and far between, and you just can't exclusively focus on guys like that. every elite program has 3-stars that get a couple of letters as backups and special teamers with a spot start here and there. if that's what we get here, it's still better than the flameouts we've been getting.


November 3rd, 2009 at 9:56 PM ^

I am not too worried, RR has consistently found talent at all levels. This is the 2007 WV team that finished the year pounding #3 Oklahoma 48-28 in the Fiesta Bowl, and boasted the #15 scoring offense and #7 scoring defense in the country. Here is the opening-week starters for that team, along with their recruiting rankings (Rivals’ rankings unless otherwise noted):

WVU Starting Offense 2007:

QB Pat White *** 2004
TB Steve Slaton *** 2005
FB Owen Schmitt (N.R., walk-on)
WR Tito Gonzales ** 2004
WR Darius Reynaud *** 2004
TE Michael Villagrana ** 2003 (DE)
LT Ryan Stanchek ** 2004
LG Greg Isdaner (N.R.) (* Scout) 2005
C Mike Dent ** 2004 (DE)
RG Eric Rodemoyer ** 2006
RT Jake Figner ** 2004

WVU Starting Defense 2007:

DE Johnny Dingle ** 2003
NT Thor Merrow ** 2005 (TE)
DT Keilen Dykes *** 2003
SLB Marc Magro ** 2003
MLB Reed Williams *** 2005
WLB J.T. Thomas *** 2006
CB Antonio Lewis ** (SCOUT) 2003 (QB)
FS Eric Wicks ** 2003
SS Ridwan Malik (N.R., walk-on)
BS Boogie Allen *** 2006
CB Vaughn Rivers ** (SCOUT) 2003 (WR)


November 4th, 2009 at 3:09 PM ^

Its just that sometimes we "overemphasize" rankings over coaching ability and it seems RR can do quite a bit with ** and *** star talent. Definitely rankings give you insight into the potential of a player since they have proven themselves at the high school level, but i dont like to take rankings at face value either since that can also be deceptive (as Mike Williams and others have shown). The main point was exactly what you mentioned, RR can coach and get the best out of his players, or so it appears based on his coaching history.

B Ready

November 3rd, 2009 at 10:18 PM ^

We have 23 scholarships to give out. 20 are currently verbal commitments. Cone and Patterson probably won't be back. Wright might not be either. That would give us 5-6 more to give out, at least. We should be able to sign 25 no problem, and have the ability to go up to as much as 28 if need be/if we want to.