He already has a fancy nickname: SJ3.
Samuel Johnson III is now a veteran of the Sound Mind Sound Body camp held at Wayne State University.
The sophomore turned in his second strong performance at the camp in two years.
There were fewer quarterbacks from a year ago, but Johnson’s size at 6-feet-4 and about the 10 pounds of muscle he has put on from a year ago were evident.
“There were less quarterbacks and less people, which meant more reps for me,” he said after throwing footballs all over the field Friday.
“The competition was just as good as last year. I think so. There were a lot of class of 2017 players out here.”
Johnson’s not in that group — he’s in the class of 2019 and already getting attention.
Last season at the camp, before even playing a game at Southfield High, he won the youth MVP award and then captured the quarterback challenge over the likes of Messiah deWeaver (Michigan State) and Tony Poljan (Central Michigan) in the field.
Scouts hail Johnson as having a strong arm and good accuracy. Last season with Michigan assistant Jedd Fisch running the accuracy drill, Johnson emerged as the most accurate passer.
Friday afternoon, the quarterbacks seemed to have a hard time getting in sync with the receivers, but it’s obvious the ball flies accurately out of Johnson’s young hands.
“I think I did good,” he said. “I made it to the top six quarterbacks. Today I learned to keep a good base and always be ready to throw the ball. We watched a few clips of Peyton Manning and took notes and learned some things from him.”
Even with veterans like Rodney Hall of Detroit Cass Tech and charismatic and talented Jairus Grissom of River Rouge on the field, Johnson’s ability stood out.
He bounced to the music as the quarterbacks went through passing drills, hamming it up with Grissom, a star in his own right as a 2017 prospect.
“The drills helped me quite a bit, especially learning how to throw the ball in tight windows,” Johnson said.
Being at the camp, “helps my recruiting prospects,” he said. “It gives me more opportunities. It hasn’t gotten too crazy yet, but I’ll just keep working and hopefully get more offers and keep grinding with my team.”
He has been to Notre Dame and has offers from Temple and Bowling Green, with the list growing.
As a returning starter, Johnson is now the clear leader of the Bluejays’ offense. Losing talented running back Matt Falcon to injury before the start of last season didn’t give Johnson a veteran in the backfield to help, but he held his own.
“I thought I did pretty well for a freshman on varsity, but we should be way better this year,” he said. “We have a lot more seniors. I’m good with the speed of the game and I know what’s going on now. Losing Matt was tough, but everything’s not perfect and it’s the next man up. We have some guys coming over from (Southfield) Lathrup with nice speed and nice size.”
Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.