GARY — There’s a kid named Johnson at West Side who is turning heads with his play on the field and performing well in the classroom, too.

It’s just not the Johnson most people would think.

Lonnie Johnson committed to Ohio State over the offseason, based on his pure talent and athleticism. But his cousin, Jon Vea Johnson, had much better numbers last season for the Cougars, and could be in for an even better season as a senior.

It’s not just about the numbers, though Jon Vea showed he’s the real deal as the No. 4 wide receiver in the state last season with 1,054 yards on 57 receptions and eight touchdowns. He’s become a true leader in multiple ways.

“He’s really growing athletically, with his leadership and in accountability,” West Side coach Jason Johnson said. “He did a great job in summer school to get his grades up.”

Jon Vea admitted his academic focus wasn’t always there, but his maturity level has grown exponentially in the last couple years, leading to the real possibility of accepting a Division-I offer.

“It was more me — as a freshman I didn’t take grades seriously,” he said. “But I realize it’s the little things that get you where you gotta go.”

It’s not just schoolwork that Jon Vea has improved. Competing in track in the spring has helped his quickness — in addition to getting him some recognition as he finished third in the 100-meter dash in the state finals — and he’s frequented the weight room more.

“He’s bulked up,” Jason Johnson said. “His squats have increased and he’s now benching 250 (pounds). And he’s definitely able to get off the ball better.”

That’s bad news for opposing offenses that can’t double team Lonnie unless they are OK with Jon Vea burning them.

As for being part of the dual threat with his cousin, Jon Vea loves it.

“We’re almost like brothers,” Jon Vea said. “We spend time playing video games and other stuff together.”

But there’s still a healthy competition between the two. Jon Vea may have had more yards receiving, but Lonnie had more than 20 touchdowns — 13 of them receiving.

“I’d like to get 10 (TDs) this year … 15 would be great,” Jon Vea said. “But it’s just about the team and getting the ‘W.’”

Jon Vea has already gotten offers from Cincinnati, Ball State, Toledo and Ohio University. If his stats keep improving, and with his newfound leadership, you can bet more offers will be coming.