Michigan Football: How concerning is Will Johnson’s visit to USC?

Michigan football recruit Will Johnson is defended by Macomb Dakota's Eric Reese at Grosse Pointe South high school Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Michigan football recruit Will Johnson is defended by Macomb Dakota's Eric Reese at Grosse Pointe South high school Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Syndication: Detroit Free Press /

Five-star cornerback Will Johnson is the cornerstone of Michigan football’s 2022 recruiting class and he’s taking a visit to USC.

If any Michigan football fan said they are happy about the fact that five-star commitment Will Johnson is taking a visit to USC, they’d be lying.

But is it a reason to be worried about the Trojans flipping Michigan’s top commit in the 2022 class? I wouldn’t go that far just yet.

First things first though, Johnson is going to take a visit to USC. There was talk about it happening and EJ Holland reported on Wednesday that Johnson will visit the Trojans in June.

Johnson has been interested in USC and Ohio State. He took self-guided visits to both schools before making his pledge to the Wolverines.

That was shortly after the hire of Maurice Linguist as cornerbacks coach and co-DC. Since then, Linguist has left to be the head coach at Kansas, and was replaced with Steve Clinkscale of Kentucky, who is another coach Johnson has a strong relationship with.

Outside of Johnson, the Wolverines have a trio of four-star recruits committed in 2022 including top-100 wideout Tyler Morris. Yet, Morris committed after a knee injury and U-M doesn’t have a ton of momentum on the recruiting trail right now.

To be fair though, Johnson is still visiting Michigan football this month, and his efforts to recruit other top players to Ann Arbor have been well-documented.

It’s also been well-documented that Johnson and five-star USC commit, Domani Jackson, are close and have talked seriously about playing together in college.

At one time, there was hope it could be at Michigan. But the Wolverines don’t appear to be getting a visit from Jackson and now, with Johnson taking an official to USC, Michigan is the one guarding against a flip.

Deone Walker plans visit to Michgan

Another top in-state target in the class of 2022 for Michigan is defensive tackle Deone Walker, who has locked in a pair of visits he will take to Ann Arbor in June according to The Michigan Insider.

Walker is ranked 362nd overall in the 2022 class and 32nd among defensive tackles. However, he’s been moving up the rankings and could even move into four-star territory.

Not only would Walker fill a need in the middle of the defensive line, but he would also add a second in-state defensive tackle, and landing the Detroit Cass Tech product would give Michigan some much-needed momentum in the state.

And he talked about how the addition of Clink can help with recruiting:

"“Coach Clink is a good guy,” Walker told The Michigan Insider. “He was the main reason I was really thinking about Kentucky. He was real with me all the way through and just tried to help me with whatever I needed. I feel like it was a great hire for Michigan. It’s going to strengthen their staff a lot and have their recruiting level up.”"

At 6-foot-6, 340 pounds Walker has turned into a mammoth prospect. Michigan added some defensive tackles late in 2021, including Rayshaun Benny, but Walker has the ideal build for a nose tackle and he’s been gaining more interest.

Kentucky was in the mix but the Wildcats aren’t alone among SEC schools going after Walker, who has offers from Georgia, LSU, and Florida, as well as Texas.

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Like Johnson, Walker is an essential piece of the 2022 class and hopefully, these visits are a sign that he will stay home.