Wide Receiver Lonnie Johnson is Number Eight

By Jeremy Birmingham on May 12, 2013 at 3:55p

After a quiet month on the football recruiting front, Ohio State's class of 2014 has its eighth member in speedy Gary (Ind.) wide receiver Lonnie Johnson.

Johnson, who has long listed Ohio State as his leader, was a surprise commitment today after months of speculating about his ability to commit, but never his desire to. So, on Mother's Day, Johnson decided to present his mother with a gift: his college choice. After he got the green light from the Buckeyes, the wide receiver with blazing speed became the first pure wideout to choose the Buckeyes this recruiting cycle.

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"It's OSU," Johnson said to Eleven Warriors.com "I told the whole staff. They were very excited."

After months of waiting, Johnson is a Buckeye and it comes down to a simple explanation for the Indiana prep star.

"The Buckeye staff has given me so much support," he said. "They were there for me in my darkest times and that's why I chose the Buckeyes."

As for on the field, the Buckeyes plan to utilize Johnson's speed on the edge, allowing him to separate from defensive backs. Off the field, Johnson is trying to separate fact from fiction as far the reports about poor academics go. 

"The reports about my grades were not true," he added. "I just wasn't ready, and was going through some personal stuff."


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TheBadOwl's picture

Excited for this kid. Crazy athleticism. 

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

lamplighter's picture

welcome aboard. 

GeorgiaBuckeye2114's picture

Love this kid's speed!

tdible2132's picture

It's intersting how regional our recruiting has been this year so far.  Last year we were spanning the entire country and at this point had a guy from California, Texas, and Florida.  This year, we have only midwest guys.  5 OH, 1 MI, 1 IN, 1 IL. 

Nick's picture

more talent in the midwest this year. staff says they will always start in the 250 mile radius and if there arent guys they love they'll branch out 

tdible2132's picture

Not sure why 247 has this kid listed as a safety either.  I find that odd.  I'm also surprised by how weak his offer sheet is.  Seems like a kid with this talent should have some better offers than Missouri and Kentucky being his best offers outside of OSU?

RBuck's picture

From Tim May:

Bucknuts veteran recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic said Johnson could play on either side of the ball.


Long live the southend.

buckguyfan1's picture

Great, another slow guy:)  Welcome to the Buckeye Family kid!

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Our recruiting has been very regional thus far, what is very interesting is that our rival has been the opposite of us.  In the last recruiting cycle it was the very opposite, I very much like this class so far.

BROSEPH's picture

Like a full body dry heave set to music.

BullCityBuckeye's picture

Sweet fancy Moses!  
Welcome aboard, Lonnie.

sharks's picture

Biggest thing out of Gary since The Jackson 5
EDIT- does anyone even watch football over there?  Like six people in the stands at every game... or he coming from a low level division?

A man got to have a code...

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Dude (Freddie Gibbs) is awesome. Gary, though, is intensely frightening. Most towns have a "bad" side of town. Gary has one side. A former principal that I worked under came out of Gary and it was like a lighter under his ass constantly; people that make it out have perseverance that is to be admired. Props to Lonnie Johnson.

Jangs78's picture

Gray Box....Its a Mothers Day miracle!      :)    Welcome aboard, Lonnie!

Dr. House's picture

i see ohio state has indiana on lock down. sorry IU, Purdue and ND. better luck next time 

Buckeyeneer's picture

Welcome, good sir!!!

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

Hovenaut's picture

Cool. Welcome aboard, LJ.

rdubs's picture

Another highlight vid from a camp.  Good adjustment in the air to get to the ball.  My main concern is his lack of competition to this point.  We have a lot of weapons coming in and if he is truly 6-3 he can play on the outside.

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Just my opinion but I think that competition is largely overrated when talking about high school talent.  Many players end up being great while playing at largely unproven high school grounds, such as Alabama's big quarterback recruit being from Utah.

rdubs's picture

I agree, but like I said I don't have any other big concerns.  He is plenty fast and adjusts well to the ball and clearly has good hands.  Those are the primary things you need from a receiver.  I would like to see him out run and out jump some better competition, but overall seems like solid pickup especially if he is really 6-3, or will be once he gets on campus.

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Agreed, he is definitely a solid pickup and depth at receiver is always nice.  I hope doesn't transfer if playing time doesn't come right away, like a couple of our florida receiver commits did. 

steensn's picture

That tells a whole lot more than highlight reels. He's big, fluid, fast, and has soft hands. On thing on competition, he's a Core 6 guy, so he's showing off in this tape against some of the best Ind has too offer. Hopefully it leads to a few more Core 6 guys were after as well.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great video, thanks for posting this.  Gave ya the upvote. 
Go Bucks!

buckeyedude's picture

Just watching that video, this kid as all the tools to achieve at OSU, IMHO. I don't care what ranking he has. Trust the Urb.



Buckabroad's picture

Upvote for that. I think Meyer's nose for talent is phenominal. More often than not, rankings on players rise once Meyer takes an interest or that player commits to OSU.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

BSTP DeCon's picture

Looks like great hips, speed, and pretty decent footwork to me. Welcome to tOSU, Lonnie Johnson! Extremely glad we got him, especially considering it didn't seem likely yesterday!

cajunbuckeye's picture

The endzone cam made me give up on the first video. Thanks for posting the second one RDubs. I like the separation he gets, almost immediately, off the line. Welcome to the Buckeye Nation, Lonnie.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Poison nuts's picture

Thanks for posting this RDubs. Everyone has heard about this young man, but I hadn't seen much. That little bit of highlight footage was very impressive to me - looks like the potential to be a very good pure receiver & looks like a great athlete. Welcome aboard!

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Vabuck213's picture

One thing I noticed is he has a bad habit of picking up his front foot off the line instead of stepping forward with his back foot which wastes critical time and energy. It's a simple fix but it will do wonders for his ability to get separation off the line making him much more explosive. I like this kids potential cause with some coaching he could be a legit outside wideout.

rdubs's picture

True, and in camp you don't get punished for it as much since there isn't a real QB rush and the only defense is just responding to you and nothing else.

buckguyfan1's picture

The guy that filmed the first highlight film needs to lay off the Everclear...

Buckabroad's picture

I am very happy to have you with us, Lonnie. Welcome to the family. Can't wait to see you on the field!

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

Lon_Paul's picture

From one Lonnie to another, Congrats, Mr. Johnson! Very excited to have you wearing the Scarlet and Gray!

WezBuck28's picture

Anyone got a 40 time on this kid? He must be real fast cause the camera man couldn't keep up..

Crimson's picture

Welcome aboard!  The only thing I don't like about the video is whoever shot it.  Wow.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Welcome to Buckeye nation Lonnie!  Good luck to you and can't wait to see you on the field.  Have a great senior season. 
Go Bucks!

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Welcome to the Buckeye Nation Lonnie - you're in for one helluva ride!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

jedkat's picture

Welcome aboard LoJo!

"Can we please stop the message board fighting? I really can't stand the message board fighting..."

"No. You're an idiot, and your posts are terrible."

otrain2416's picture

Welcome aboard the most exciting offense the next few years

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Welcome to the family Lonnie!

osubuck57's picture

Welcome aboard Lonnie! GO BUCS!!


kareemabduljacobb's picture

Hmmm I'm on the fence with this one, with limited scholarships and what not... We can sign 14 this class, 15 now w/ Perkins gone and most likely 16 after Roby bolts... perhaps 17 if Shazier leaves... barring any other attrition that only will leave us with 7-9 more players and I'm not sure if he's one I'd want to use a scholarship on... eh, either way I liked his highlights, he seems to be pretty athletic and that's always nice to have at the WR position, looks like he can use some more polishing though.   Not sure why peeps are saying he's blazing fast... as I saw he runs a sub 4.5 40, although fast, it's not blazing.  
Stumbled upon this, which I believe are his track times:

Triv's picture

First of all, there is more than likely going to be more attrition, there always is. I see this class being at 18-20 (remember last year at this time we were only supposed to take 18 or so). Second of all sub 4.5 is definitely blazing. Anything in the 4.4 range is very, very fast

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

otrain2416's picture

Urban knows he's going have a smaller class if he didn't think he was talented enough he wouldn't have taken his commitment. We were also the second school to offer him back in December so Urban and staff have had their eye on him for a while now. It sounded like grades were the only thing holding him back and I'm guessing they got an idea what his grades were gonna be for this year and gave him the green light.

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

Buckeyejason's picture

First player from SCARY Gary to wear Scarlet and Grey. Welcome kid!


bucknutz18's picture

Defnitely a potential kid.  Big solid frame with potential to get bigger. Adequate speed for an outside possesion receiver.  Almost guranteed to redshirt his first year.  This might say more about our chances with Kief and the other x/y receivers than anything else.  Solid pickup for sure tho.

okiebuck's picture

No question he has raw talent and being from Gary you know he's a tough kid and the staff will surely coach him up; happy to have him in the S&G!

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

zbd's picture

A receiver who plays running back in high school? I thought I was watching the wrong video. The holder of the video camera had too many drinks. At least most of the experts have him rated as a 4 star athlete. And at 6'2" he as some decent size.  Hopefully he develops at OSU. 

Psychranger's picture

Looks to be a fine athlete. Do people ever go to the HS football games in Indiana? 


D. Anthony's picture

That speed is crazy... He looks like a taller Ted Ginn...he seems to keep finding another gear when someone looks to have an angle on him.

D. Anthony

yankeescum's picture

I love the kid's shiftiness, especially at that height.  I think we got ourselves a good one.

dubjayfootball90's picture

Well, this is great news to start off my Monday. Congrats, Mr. Johnson!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

OSUs12-OH's picture

A little late to the party but really happy OSU got him.  I remember watching his video after he he said he wanted to commit a while back and thought he was pretty damn fast.  After watching it  again, I'm really excited about him.  I agree with Tim May, he could easily play on both sides but I think he'll be a WR.  His combination of height and speed will be useful on the offensive side more so than we'll need him on defense side IMO.   

"I want a hungry team. I want a team that can't wait to get out there. I want an angry team! You're the Ohio State Buckeyes. You're an angry football team. You're a hungry football team and I'm proud to be your coach." UFM

E2Brutus's picture

THE Lonnie Johnson?! Inventor of the Super Soaker?