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H.S. football: West Side’s Lonnie Johnson has Big Ten dreams

Updated: November 27, 2012 11:12AM



GARY — Lonnie Johnson wants to be a Buckeye.

The 6-3, 180-pound cornerback/wide receiver for West Side has always wanted to play for Ohio State since he was a little kid.

Something about the scarlet and gray that makes him go crazy.

He’s hoping the Buckeyes feel the same way about him.

“I just like the fast pace of their offense,” Johnson said.

Johnson might be getting ahead himself with the Buckeye dream.

Then again, maybe not.

He has one offer on the board — from Bowling Green. Cincinnati, LSU, Notre Dame and Purdue are all recruiting him, according to Rivals.com.

It’s likely that schools will pull the trigger on an offer for Johnson based on his performance in the spring circuit at football camps.

Cougars coach Jason Johnson, a West Side graduate, who played professionally for the Broncos and Steelers as a running back, has encouraged Johnson to try play cornerback in college.

With 4.4 speed and at 6-3 (many corners are under 6-0), he could be one of a kind. Jason Johnson said coaches spent much of the summer teaching him cornerback techniques.

“I look at it this way,” Jason said. “I know he’s talented. He’s big-time. I think he’d be a good wide receiver but there aren’t too many 6-3 cornerbacks in the league. I think that could be a gold mine.”

Jason said that Lonnie’s feet are nimble and shifty enough to play a position that is not easy to learn, let alone get good at.

So far this season, Lonnie Johnson has intercepted four passes and broken up nine.

But he would prefer to play wide receiver.

He won’t be picky about which side of the ball he ends up on, though he does hope that he ends up playing in Columbus, Ohio.

Johnson said the Buckeyes are recruiting him as a wide receiver.



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