Fact or Fiction: Four-star L.J. Johnson will pick Texas A&M
National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.
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1. LJ Johnson will pick Texas A&M.
Farrell’s take: FACT. The star running back reportedly visited Austin and College Station this weekend and a decision could come soon or he could wait until Signing Day. But the general consensus is that Jimbo Fisher and his staff will land him over Steve Sarkisian, who has been scrambling to catch up in this race as Texas' new head coach. It appears the Aggies have the edge.
Gorney’s take: FACT. The chatter is that Johnson visited Texas A&M and did not make it to Austin and that is very telling as to where the high four-star running back will end up. It looks like the Aggies are going to win out for him and very possibly for Wanya Morris as well. Texas felt decent about landing Johnson, especially because there has been positive talk from people close to Johnson, but it’s unlikely to happen.
2. Mike Macdonald will put Michigan over the top.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. Mike Macdonald is a talented coach for sure and is coming off working with an elite defense in the NFL in Baltimore, but the problem at Michigan is still the offense and that hasn’t been addressed. Josh Gattis is in charge, but let’s be honest, the offense has the look and feel of a Jim Harbaugh-offense and it’s not electric enough nor does it have enough speed to beat Ohio State. Former defensive coordinator Don Brown wasn’t the problem, just a scapegoat.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. It was inexcusable that Michigan allowed 49 points to Wisconsin and 38 to Indiana. The Wolverines' performance in the loss to Michigan State was awful. Brown did not deliver this season, but the offense was miserable as well. The Wolverines scored only 24 against the Spartans, 21 against the Hoosiers, 11 against the Badgers and just 17 against Penn State. Gattis might be the offensive coordinator but I agree, this feels like Harbaugh has his fingerprints all over this offense - and that is the biggest issue.
3. Trey Sermon will be a first-round draft pick.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. The Ohio State running back is entering the NFL Draft coming off that collarbone injury in the title game and some amazing performances in the Big Ten title game and the first round of the playoff. He’s an attractive option for some team, but likely in the second round as the running back position is devalued a bit and I can see perhaps only Najee Harris landing in the first round.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Trey Sermon had a nice season and re-energized his career at Ohio State, but let’s not go overboard about a first-round grade. I’m completely on board with Harris as the first running back off the board and I can possibly get behind Clemson’s Travis Etienne as a first-rounder depending on team needs, but I see Sermon more as a late-second or third-rounder unless he blows people away during the pre-draft process.