J.D. Johnson, Involuntary Ex-Wolverine

J.D. Johnson, Involuntary Ex-Wolverine

October 31, 2019
J.D. Johnson (image via Wolverines Wire)

Phoenix (AZ) Pinnacle quarterback – and 2020 Michigan commit – J.D. Johnson was forced to discontinue his football career due to a serious medical issue:

First of all, that’s a terrible turn of events for Johnson, who has known about the issue for a while but thought it could be corrected surgically. It has to be scary and disappointing and frustrating. I feel bad for him and his family.

Hit the jump for more.

Second – and much less importantly – it leaves Michigan without a quarterback commit in the 2020 class. Every other offered quarterback in the 2020 class has committed to another school already, so Michigan may need to re-open communication with some of them or send out some new offers.

Third, I have seen a lot of emotional responses to the fact that Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are going to honor Johnson’s commitment by giving him a medical scholarship and giving him a place on the staff when he comes to Ann Arbor. I’m certainly not saying anything bad about Harbaugh – it’s a great move. But we should not be surprised about this development. Michigan has done this type of thing before with Austin Hatch (a basketball player under John Beilein) and Corey Malone-Hatcher (2017 football class), both of whom suffered setbacks prior to playing for Michigan, along with various Michigan players whose careers ended early due to injury (Grant Newsome, Antonio Poole, etc.).

Johnson is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #16 pro-style quarterback, and #384 overall. I had given him a TTB Rating of 81.

Michigan now has 23 commits in the class of 2020.


  1. GrandLake
    Comments: 95
    Joined: 8/22/2019
    Oct 31, 2019 at 1:56 PM

    It does follow precedent of honoring scholarship but I don’t expect Finebaum ESPN in general or any of the “Hot take media” to report it with much emphasis or even acknowledge that this is the process UM has followed in the past. Regarding a replacement is it even really worth it to replace him if all they can get is a someone they passed on earlier. I am in favor of taking a QB in each class but with the grad transfer route being so much more prevalent now they may be able to find one after next year if needed esp with Mcaffery appearing able for next year, McCarthy coming in after him plus Mccade Milton already on roster.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 7
    Joined: 10/27/2019
    Oct 31, 2019 at 5:16 PM

    I am glad Harbaugh is going to honor his scholarship. I wish him the best.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 5880
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Nov 01, 2019 at 11:09 AM

    Glad to see it and glad to see JH get good publicity for it. But yeah, it’s effectively just another expense line item for the accountants to deal with. It would be different if this was costing Harbaugh a football scholarship he couldn’t use otherwise.

    They did give Newsome every opportunity to come back – which made sense given his talent and the team need.

    Hatch was the case that impressed me most because of the circumstances and the limited number of scholarships. That was a real sacrifice Beilein and Michigan made for the kid to keep him on a basketball (non-medical) scholarship for multiple seasons.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5880
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Nov 01, 2019 at 11:15 AM

      The distinction is using a football/basketball scholarship that counts against the cap is cost on the program on the field.

      A medical scholarship is a financial cost for a highly profitable operations – it’s really the AD who cares about the financials. That not JH’s purview.

  4. Lanknows
    Comments: 5880
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Nov 01, 2019 at 11:17 AM

    I definitely think they need to recruit another QB. Even if he’s a 3-star career backup type – you need the depth. Find some kid who is 5’11 but has good accuracy and elite character and let him live his dream and contribute in the film room, etc. You never know how things will work out on the field.

You must belogged in to post a comment.