Earlier today, 2014 wide receiver/safety Lonnie Johnson out of Gary, Indiana made his decision and committed to play his college ball at Ohio State, becoming number eight for Urban Meyer and company. While Johnson's commitment has been somewhat long-awaited, this was certainly a big day for Buckeye recruiting followers, the OSU staff, and especially for Johnson himself. Lonnie Johnson's athleticism is off the charts, and analyzing the reviews and rankings of the major recruiting services show this.
Each of the three major recruiting services (247Sports, Scout, Rivals) all rate and rank him at different positions. 247Sports ranks Johnson as a 4-star safety and the 29th-best in the 2014 class. Scout ranks Johnson as a 3-star wide receiver and the 47th-best in the 2014 class. Last but not least, Rivals ranks Johnson as a 3-star "athlete" and the 36th-best in the 2014 class. Regardless of your reliance on recruiting websites' prospect rankings and reviews, the fact that each recruiting service has him analyzed at a different position is a tribute to his ability to do what's best for his team and contribute in any way possible on the field.
We caught up with Johnson and spoke about his junior football season, how the coaching staff at Ohio State intends to use him, his decision to become a Buckeye, and his plan to add some more commits to the 2014 class:
Congrats on your Ohio State commitment! How'd your junior season at West Side go?
It went great. Our season record was kind of unexpected (6-5), but it went great for me personally.
What about your season from a personal standpoint?
I am very satisfied with my performance from an individual standpoint. I have a lot of things that I want to work on, and this upcoming season, I want to focus on those things and win some more games.
You're listed as a safety and a wide receiver on most recruiting websites, but what's your favorite position to play on the field and why?
Wide receiver. I love putting points on the board. That's what I do. My coach wants me to always make plays, and I can do that by catching the ball at the wide receiver position. I play safety to mostly help the team out. I know I can be successful in most positions at the high school level, and I want to help my team.
What is your biggest strength?
My speed and versatility.
What part of your game do you need to work on the most?
I want to make sure my hands are 'off the chain' good. My hands are good, but not as good as I really want them to be.
What has the coaching staff told you about your fit in the offense? Do you know if the staff plans on you playing flanker, split end, or slot?
They told me that I would be a big centerpiece, and that I need to help find more players in the 2014 class to help me get open. They told me that I was needed in the Ohio State offense to go out, win games, and win the national championship. I'll probably play an outside receiver position because of my height.
What was the deciding factor for you?
The fact that Ohio State won over my mom and dad, and they wanted me to go to Ohio State. If they can win the battle with my mom and dad, I felt like they should win the battle for me.
What was the coaching staff's reaction when you told them you were committing to Ohio State?
They were excited and really pumped up when I told them that I picked Ohio State.
Would you say you that of all the coaching staffs recruiting you, you had the best relationship with Ohio State's?
Yes, the best. They showed my lots of support in the recruiting process.
Are you in touch with any other Ohio State commits? Were any of those guys recruiting you to Ohio State?
Yeah, everyone who is already in the 2014 class actually texted me as soon as news broke that I committed. Marcelys Jones had been recruiting me a while back and telling me to go to Ohio State.
Do you plan on helping recruit any other 2014 guys thinking about going to Ohio State?
Oh yeah, as much as I possibly can. I don't know if Marshon Lattimore is committed to Ohio State yet, but I'm definitely going to be recruiting him.
Thanks again to Lonnie for his time. Watch what he will bring to the Buckeyes here and below:
For more Ohio State recruiting updates, follow Zach Clark (@ZClark_LGHL), Charles Doss (@CDoss_LGHL), Bret Favachio (@BretLGHL), and Ian Cuevas (@IanLGHL) on Twitter.