City: Orangeburg, SC
Web site: http://www.scsu.edu
Conference: Mid Eastern Athletic Conference
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Southwest DeKalb running back Michael Johnson should get the cast off his broken left leg sometime next week, and he’s still hoping to get back on the field should the Panthers continue advancing in the Class AAAA playoffs. In the meantime, he’ is Southwest’s emotional leader — as well being in charge of making sure players stay where they need to be on the sideline. “Yeah, I’m the get-back guy,” he said. “I’m trying to help any way I can. I’m just happy the team’s doing well.” Southwest beat Villa Rica 27-7 in the first round of the playoffs. Johnson expects to be fitted for a walking boot next week and wear that for a few days before trying to rehab enough to get back on the field. The earliest that could happen may be the semifinals, if the Panthers get that far. “I’ve got to keep hope alive,” he said as far as returning to action is concerned. “Especially since it’s my senior year.” On the recruiting front, Johnson talked to Jacksonville State recruiters last week and is expecting to get an offer soon. He has offers from Akron, Eastern Michigan, Western Carolina and South Carolina State. He has made an official visit to Eastern Michigan and an unofficial visit to see South Carolina State play a few weeks ago.
The family atmosphere on his official visit to Eastern Michigan last weekend had Southwest DeKalb running back Michael Johnson feeling kind of warm inside. Johnson found snow and temperatures in the 30s during his visit to the Ypsilanti, Mich., university, and while it was “a whole new kind of cold,” than what he’s used to in Georgia, he liked what he saw — and felt. “I toured the campus, talked about classes. I liked the facilities. I really like it here,” Johnson said Sunday afternoon while attending a Eastern Michigan women’s basketball game as part of his two-day visit. “It really seems like a family here, so that’s real important to me.” Johnson said he’s not ready to make a commitment, but that Eastern Michigan is solidly on his list of possible college homes. His other offers include Western Carolina, Akron, Eastern Kentucky and South Carolina State. He visited South Carolina State two weeks ago, and still plans a visit to Western Carolina, which also offered three other Southwest DeKalb players last month. The comfort he felt from players, coaches and other students has him thinking he can put up with the cold of Ypsilanti, located just east of metropolitan Detroit. “I can just put on a couple more shirts to be able to go out there and play,” he said.
A freak accident on the practice field late last week has Southwest DeKalb running back Michael Johnson looking at possibly missing the rest of the season with a broken leg. Johnson said that while going through plays during Wednesday’s practice he got caught up in a bunch of players and someone fell on his left leg, breaking the fibula bone. He’ll be out six weeks, which could mean he may return to the field if Southwest DeKalb (6-2) advances deep in the playoffs, like to the semifinals in the Georgia Dome. He said it could have been worse. After the injury, he was still able to walk on it, “and it kind of mended it back,” so that the bone did not have to be re-set. “Instead of eight to 10 weeks, it’s six weeks,” he said. The break prevented Johnson from visiting Western Carolina over the weekend. Western Carolina, Akron, Eastern Michigan, Eastern Kentucky and South Carolina State have offered. He visited South Carolina State two weeks ago. He said recruiters have said they’re not concerned about the injury. “It’s an injury I can recover 100 percent from,” he said.