Name: Carvin Johnson
Weight: 200 lbs.
High school: Rummel High School in Metairie, LA
Position: Strong safety
Jersey number: #13
Last year: I ranked Johnson #67 and said he would redshirt. He started 3 games at outside linebacker and had 18 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 pass breakup.
Johnson’s role on the 2010 team was a little bit mysterious to me. As a true freshman, he came in and immediately started at a position that he hadn’t played in high school; as a 195-pounder he was playing outside linebacker on a team that had more physically ready players at the position, such as redshirt freshman Thomas Gordon (23 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks). Meanwhile, the team was experimenting with tiny freshmen like Courtney Avery and Terrence Talbott at safety. Johnson’s starting role was somewhat short-lived, however, once he hurt his shoulder in the opener against Connecticut and missed the next three games. He returned and played sporadically for the rest of the season, most notably notching 6 tackles against Mississippi State on New Year’s Day, but his debut season was largely forgettable for fans.
Then came the spring. By the time April rolled around, Johnson was earning rave reviews from practice observers and after the spring game. He turned a couple bad throws in the spring game and turned them into excellent interceptions and generally looked like the ballhawking safety that Michigan has been lacking for the last several years. He even had decent enough speed to hunt down Denard Robinson on a long run, something we haven’t been able to say for a Michigan safety in a while. With Marvin Robinson struggling to stick with assignments, Josh Furman looking uncomfortable in open space, and Jordan Kovacs somewhat limited athletically, Johnson has set himself apart as a near lock to start in the defensive backfield and could perhaps be an All-Big Ten performer by the time he graduates.
Prediction: 55 tackles, 3 interceptions
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