April 6, 2010

Louisiana DT visiting UA

Covington (LA) St. Paul's defensive tackle Mickey Johnson has attracted plenty of attention so far following his spectacular junior season in which he racked up 49 solo tackles and seven sacks. The 6-foot-1, 310-pound lineman has received over 20 scholarship offers already and saw his list grow further with two new arrivals this week.

"Oklahoma State and Alabama both just recently offered me," Johnson said. "I'll be visiting Alabama on Wednesday to watch their spring practice and I'm looking forward to getting a closer look at the team."

Johnson said he plans to take the opportunity to learn more about both the university as whole and the coaching style of Nick Saban and his assistants.

"I'm going to be looking at the atmosphere on campus and just getting a feel for what it's like to be a student there. Also, I'm going to try not to just focus on the defensive line during practice. I want to go around and see how the whole coaching staff works with their players and also see how Coach Saban handles his team. I'd also like to see what kind of techniques they teach their defensive players."

Thus far, the Crimson Tide have made a solid impression on Johnson, particularly when it comes to the reputation of their head coach.

"Alabama is known for their great defense and I know that with a lot of their defensive linemen from last year gone there are going to be a lot of opportunities for guys to come in and contribute right away on the line."

"Coach Saban is as good a defensive coach as there is in college football. He made LSU what they are today and now he's made Alabama into one of the top programs in the country."

Johnson said one of the things he appreciates most about the Tide coaching staff is the laid-back approach they have taken to his recruitment and their willingness to allow him to take his time with his decision.

"Coach Burns is my recruiter for Alabama and he's a really cool guy. He's a Louisiana man and coached here for a long time and he's really understanding about me wanting to take my time and enjoy the recruiting process rather than committing early. Not everybody gets the opportunity to experience this and I don't want to make a mistake by committing early to one school when I haven't checked out other places."

While Johnson said the situation could change, his plan for now is to wait until National Signing Day to make a final decision on his college destination.

"All schools are equal right now, even the small schools. By the end of the season, I should have a top five and then I will probably wait until National Signing Day to announce my decision. If something happens and I know I've found the right school, I could announce it earlier but for now that's my plan."

Johnson boasts a 450-pound bench max and a 695-pound squat max.

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