June 18, 2010

JeMarcus Johnson Commits to Baylor

Being a competitor is less about athleticism and talent than it is an inherent want to prove one's self. Last week at Baylor's camp in San Antonio, that's exactly what Lago Vista safety JeMarcus Johnson did.

"I went to Baylor's first camp in Waco and it was the first time I had ever worked at corner back," Johnson said. "I did okay, but I didn't feel like I did well enough or that the coaches saw me at my best. That's when I decided to go to their next camp in San Antonio."

After using what Baylor defensive backs coach Kim McCloud taught him at the first camp, Johnson came back as a man on a mission to show the staff that he could master whatever they threw at him.

"I came in the second time with a much smoother backpedal and really worked hard at keeping my pad level low," Johnson said. "The way I played safety was flat footed. I was never in situations where I was covering anyone, I was always going downhill and making plays there. Essentially, I was just a deep outside linebacker."

"The next day, the Baylor staff offered me, and today I committed," Johnson said. "Whenever I went to Baylor the first time, I didn't get to tour the campus. I went back to Waco again and actually got to see everything and sit down with an academic advisor. She laid out what the football player's schedule looks like and described the available tutoring to help support me at Baylor. That really made me want to go there."

A starter on varsity since his sophomore year, Johnson's play on the field has earned the trust of the Lago Vista coaches and has cemented him as the leader of the team's secondary.

"The first year the coach made all the calls for the secondary. When the season started this year, though, he gave those duties to me," Johnson said. "Last year, I made all the calls in the secondary and then I also can check things when I see a need for it. I really like it a lot."

Last season, Johnson finished with 61 tackles and three interceptions on defense to go along with 26 carries for over 200 yards on offense. On special teams, Johnson scored two touchdown on 6 punt returns for 205 yards, and also returned 11 kickoffs for 274 yards while leading his team to a playoff berth after winning District 2A-25 outright.

"We had a tough non-district schedule that really helped us get ready for district," Johnson said. "We ended up losing 21-14 to Hempstead in the first round. This next year we're playing in District 13 and my plan is to go all the way and take state."

At 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, Johnson has ideal size to grow into a prototypical corner back at the next level.

"I'm actually about 6 foot and three quarters, but I'm at 170 now and plan on getting up to 180 by the time the season starts," Johnson said. "My biggest asset is my speed and how aggressive I play. We made it to state in the 4x2 300 relay, and I usually run either a 9.8 or 9.9 in my 100 split."

Johnson first started receiving attention from Baylor, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Air Force, Navy, and various other schools before receiving his first two offers from Air Force and Vanderbilt in March. After camping with Baylor, Texas A&M, Rice, and Baylor again, Johnson has made his decision and has no plans of looking back.

"A&M told me they are offering me, but I don't really care anymore," Johnson said. "I'm 100% committed to Baylor."

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