Donovan Johnson, Wolverine

Donovan Johnson, Wolverine

June 24, 2024
Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy RB Donovan Johnson (image via 247 Sports)

Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy running back Donovan Johnson committed to Michigan on Sunday. He picked the Wolverines over reported offers from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and USC, among others.

Johnson is listed at 6’0″ and 205 lbs. on 247 Sports, though his school’s Hudl page lists him at 6’1″, 215. He ran a 22.47 in the 200 meters and a 51.58 in the 400 meters.

4-star, 82 grade, #8 RB, #123 overall
4-star, 90 grade, #19 RB, #242 overall
4-star, 5.8 grade, #19 RB
247 Sports:
3-star, 88 grade, #30 RB

Hit the jump for more.

Johnson transferred from Savannah (GA) Calvary Day after his freshman year to IMG Academy for his sophomore season. However, he suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss his junior year. While Johnson has a very good offer list, it appears that some schools backed off recruiting him due to his injury. He visited Michigan unofficially last week and will likely return for an official visit this fall.

Johnson has a solid frame and shouldn’t have any issues carrying the necessary weight and musculature to be a Big Ten running back. At times he shows some good physicality and balance while muscling through tacklers.

Of course, his most recent film comes from his sophomore year, and a lot could have changed since then. He could be bigger. He could be faster or quicker. He could have worked on some agility drills while rehabbing his leg. It’s hard to say how much his body and athleticism have changed from 2022 until now. But aside from one tough run, the talent is not immediately apparent. The biggest thing for me is that his feet stop on contact and he doesn’t have the quick, short steps necessary for work in short areas. That was something I overlooked a little bit in my evaluation of Derrick Green back in the 2013 recruiting cycle, and I wouldn’t want to make the same mistake again.

Overall, I’m going to withhold some judgment on Johnson or have a “TBD” flashing in my mind, because his junior year was wiped out due to the knee injury. I’m not overly impressed with his 2022 highlights, but there must be some indication he’s recovered – and likely improved – for Michigan to pursue him and for the ratings services to make him a 4-star prospect.

Johnson is the second running back prospect to commit in the 2025 class, joining Louisiana back Jasper Parker.

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