ArizonaVarsity - Sunrise Mountain’s Micah Johnson levels up, colleges latch on.
{{ timeAgo('2022-08-06 18:28:38 -0500') }} football Edit

Sunrise Mountain’s Micah Johnson levels up, colleges latch on.

Sunrise Mountain Wide Receiver Micah Johnson
Sunrise Mountain Wide Receiver Micah Johnson (James T. Abraham)

The next level work Sunrise Mountain’s Micah Johnson put in during his junior year of classes and in his junior season as one of the best receivers in Arizona paid off as the summer started.

From May 16-June 1 five Division I programs – in order, NAU, Northern Colorado, Montana, Grambling State and San Jose State – offered the 6-2, 190-pound wideout.

“I focused a lot when it came to football and school. I felt like I deserved more and I know I’m getting better every day,” Johnson said in a DM interview. “It was a blessing to get five offers in two weeks because I worked so hard for them and now I know to keep pushing for more and have a blessed senior season.”

Johnson caught 53 passes for 988 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior. The talent was never in question.

Mustangs coach Steve Decker said he was happiest to see Johnson take his academics seriously going into his junior year. In the past he has seen players realize that too late in their high school career and have to go to junior college.

“His biggest challenge was his academics,” Decker said. “He’s more of a student in the classroom now.He had to get his GPA up. Once college recruiters saw that, yes, he can handle academics at the next level these offers started coming in.”

Johnson is not done either. He said he made an unofficial visit to NAU and will schedule some official visits too.

But after the recent interest, he is not planning to commit soon, wanting to see if other colleges will come calling based on his early season play.

“I’ll be waiting to see if I can get more offers,” Johnson said.

He said he’s playing football since age 8 but didn’t put on pads till he was in seventh grade. The family does not have a deep history in football, as only an uncle and cousin played in high school.

Johnson said he did not realize was good at the game until his sophomore year, when he first started on varsity for the 2020 state champions.

“It was a great experience and I learned so much from it and seeing those seniors fighting for the title really inspired me for this upcoming season,” Johnson said.

Decker said he knew Johnson had a chance to be a Division I player as a freshman. When cornerbackE.J. Anderson was injured in last game 2019 against Centennial, Johnson went in as his replacement and started in the first round win against Buena, even though he’s played very little at corner before and since.

Height, speed and athletic skill carried Johnson in his early years. By his junior season, Decker said, he was a student of the game, running routes correctly, leveraging and incorporating all the little things that go into being a great receiver.

While not one of the Mustangs captains this year, Johnson brings an upbeat personality to the mix.

“Camp was probably the most positive leadership I’ve seen out of him. When we do drills we do these things we call stations where we really work hard and he was leading all of those,” Decker said.

He, and several other members of the Sunrise Mountain Class of 2023 enter the season aiming for a repeat of the Class of 2021’s achievement.

Seniors on the 2022, while not as deep as the senior class in 2020, have one key trait in common. Most of them played on the same youth team, Johnson said.

“I’m looking forward to another championship and I think we are ready for this season. We worked hard at camp. Now the season starts Monday and I’m ready to ball out,” Johnson said.