Storm Johnson stands out in crowded Miami backfield

Loganville's Storm Johnson is rocking the number 24 in Miami's backfield. (University of Miami photo).

Loganville's Storm Johnson is rocking the number 24 in Miami's backfield. (University of Miami photo).

Loganville’s Storm Johnson knew he was stepping into a highly competitive situation when he signed with Miami. He hadn’t really considered what a challenge day-to-day life was going to be.

“Man, it’s been hectic, been busy,” said Johnson, an early enrollee for the Hurricanes. “Always got to be somewhere, either at workouts or at school or at football. You’re always on the move from the time you wake up. So it’s always cooking, something is always going on.”

Johnson is proving he can keep up. In fact, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound running back has been one of the big surprises of the spring for Miami, which holds its spring game Saturday. Johnson led all running backs in the Hurricanes’ last intrasquad scrimmage of the spring.

Johnson busted loose for 104 yards on 10 carries — including runs of 52 and 29 yards — and had a six-yard touchdown. He also hauled in two passes for another 14 yards.

“It’s still just playing football,” said Johnson, who has been enrolled at Miami since Jan. 21. “The hardest part about it is learning the plays, learning the playbook. But everything went smoothly after I started catching on. Everything went better as it went along. I was able to get after it and just run the football after that.”

The Hurricanes will wrap up spring practice with their spring game Saturday.

Standing out is not easy with all the tailbacks on the Miami roster. The Hurricanes return two backs, Graig Cooper and Damien Berry, who combined for more than 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns last season (Cooper’s currently out with a knee injury suffered in the bowl game and Berry has been limited with a hamstring injury). They also have a sophomore in Mike James who is advertised as a star-in-the-making.

Add to that redshirt freshman Lamar Miller and three freshman signees other than Johnson — Eduardo Clements, Maurice Hagens and Darion Hall — and it’s clear it is a crowded situation in the Hurricanes’ backfield.

“It’s competition,” said Johnson, an Under Armour All-American who rushed for 1,937 yards and 31 touchdowns in 11 games as a senior at Loganville. “We compete every day, all the time. We get after it. But we don’t look at ourselves as individuals. We’re always a unit.”

Johnson said he has no idea where he stands on the depth chart or if he’ll even play next season.

“They haven’t classified anybody for the No. 1 spot,” he said. “Everybody here is a great tailback. Everybody’s good. Right now everybody’s just rotating in and out. We probably won’t find out about the depth chart until summer ball when everybody is here.”

Meanwhile, Johnson is just trying to get used to college life far away from home.

“I’ve been able to ease in,” he said. “I’m not taking the hardest classes right now. They make it easy for us. You’ve got study hall. You’ve got people helping you and stuff, so we’re able to get it all done. The biggest thing is managing the time between everything else you have to do.”

Johnson is rooming with Malcom Bunche, an freshman offensive lineman from Delaware. He doesn’t have a car but was able to get home last week for spring break.

“I miss home sometimes, but right now it’s like I’m at work,” Johnson said. “And it’s a fun place to be in school. It’s great weather all the time so you can’t help but be happy.”

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45 comments Add your comment

Matthews Dawg

March 25th, 2010
9:05 am

First!! Woooooo Hoooooo!

Stingem

March 25th, 2010
9:05 am

should have came to tech!

Matthews Dawg

March 25th, 2010
9:08 am

Tech’s not good enough! It’s not the “U”! Unless it’s about the campus, the girls and then it’s “U”gly

dagnabit

March 25th, 2010
9:15 am

Sure the weather is great right now. Wait until july.

Goldtimer

March 25th, 2010
9:19 am

If there was ever a perfect fit for a school and a player – this is it. Storm and Da U is a match made in heaven. Glad he left for a school on Tech’s schedule, will be nice beating him four years in a row if he makes it there that long.

dawgjammin

March 25th, 2010
9:29 am

you techies sound like it was a toss up for mr. johnson’s services. from what i recall he was a solid miami commit for most of the process….no?

Fillin' up @ Juniors

March 25th, 2010
9:35 am

Tell me he doesn’t have the perfect name for the Hurricanes…”storm” You couldn’t write this stuff…

wiley

March 25th, 2010
9:44 am

Seems like a perfect fit for Miami….I mean that in a good way. Best of luck to him….im ready to see the U come back to prominence. The ACC needs someone to step up and win the big games since FSU has become mediocre.

The ACC is um, well ah, you know

March 25th, 2010
9:47 am

Class ………..let’s not get too excited. It is about a player recruited into the ACC and we all know that the ACC ( Tech is their Champ) is small ball. Middel school ball is what it is.

SEC RULES !!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHA 30-24 and 1-9,
as of Nov 2010

We_Run_This_Country

March 25th, 2010
9:57 am

apparently “middel” school is something you didn’t attend?? nice one UGA fan!!

Magic Man

March 25th, 2010
10:00 am

FWIW, I think this kid is going to be good. I don’t know what it was about him, but UGA never offered. He got praise from everyone across the country everywhere he went, but they never really recruited him. I remember him getting high praise at the Under Armour game and still nothing. He must have had grade issues or something. Miami should be really good this year. If Jacory stays healthy, they will easily win the Coastal division.

We_Run_This_Country

March 25th, 2010
10:02 am

I couldn’t really care less about Storm and Da U. We have them at home this year…where they will be beaten. It’s not like we’re playing on a baseball field in Miami. Oh no, I bet UGA will make us start playing on their baseball field…that way they can start consistently beating us under the Paul Johnson regime.

Let’s just say that I think ol’ CPJ will have something up his sleeve this year for the Cesspool!

mmgtfan

March 25th, 2010
10:08 am

Quaterrio Morgan just committed to GT

BigTimeTECHFan

March 25th, 2010
10:16 am

Quaterrio Morgan? more info please

devildawg

March 25th, 2010
10:43 am

Quaterrio? Really? Wow, the name says it all.

The BONE can win

March 25th, 2010
12:21 pm

The Wishbone attack can win in A, AA or AAA or maybe even ANY HS team in north Georgia. WE KNOW that CPJ has it going on. Ask any HS coach in north Fulton County and they will say that tech with THE BONE, would be tough to compete successfully against in A, AA or AAA or maybe AAAA.

This says it all.

Marcus

March 25th, 2010
1:34 pm

No way all those RBs ( 4 true FR, r-FR, a true SO, and 2 upperclassmen.) stay in Coral Gables. Some will either transfer to another FBS team or to an FCS (1-AA) school or change positions.

Buford Fan

March 25th, 2010
3:50 pm

Glad he is out of state, too much ego from him and his dad.

Buford Regret

March 25th, 2010
5:13 pm

Here we go Buford! Give it a break. Storm is doing what he has always done. Play football at the highest level. Go Storm. You represent Georgia very well!!!!!

The Sham

March 25th, 2010
10:03 pm

He’s either gong to be filling the bleachers or cleaning them… For his sake and the U’s, I hope he does well. As a Dawg, it makes no difference to me.

dawgjammin

March 25th, 2010
11:20 pm

UGA was high on Mack Brown and Ken Malcome. Thats why they never offered this kid. Plus they were also high on the top RB out of SC, Lattimore. And the more Ealey and King began to progress the last 5 games the clearer it became that they only needed 1 RB. There’s something probably fishy with Storm transfering from buford his senior year though. Everyone knows Buford practically recruits kids to the school, so something must have happened.

bkbroila4224

March 26th, 2010
2:03 am

Goldtimer…I like how GT fans say that UGA fans bust on a kid when he commits to another school…Look at you…Miami, by the way, guys, was not the lead school all the way…LSU had a verbal commit from the kid and he pulled somewhat of a switcheroo on em’…btw

Herschel Walker's 15th personality

March 26th, 2010
5:34 am

Come on son. UM’s admissions are way tougher than UGA. The kid wanted to be nationally known, not a middle of the road team with 1 National championship ever

C'mon Herschel's 15th...

March 26th, 2010
7:14 am

…While UM’s admission standards are high for REGULAR students, they are actually lower for athletes than UGA’s – UGA has the highest standard of any school in either the SEC (yes, including Vandy) or ACC (yes, including Duke and Wake) for football and basketball athletes. Had something to do with the 1980’s Jan Kemp scandal, and UGA has paid dearly for it ever since –

You do know, don’t you, that UGA is one of the only schools in either the ACC or SEC that DOES NOT accept, for any reason, a non-qualifier (Duke and Wake do not, either, but Vandy does – everybody else puts them in their own remedial programs for a year though they are not eligible to play), though UGA will accepte them AFTER they have gone the JUCO route IF they can graduate from the JUCO.

SSG Desert Dawg

March 26th, 2010
7:40 am

If I remember correctly, I think his scholarship offer was pulled from LSU. I have no idea why, but Miami was the direction he went after that. Seems like a great back though and I wish him luck.

Chip Towers

March 26th, 2010
7:45 am

C’mon Herschel’s 15th: The admission standards are the same for everybody; it is regulated by the NCAA. The difference is how many student-athletes the schools will admit that fall below the requirements of the general student body and the curricula they have to take once they’re in.

BTW

March 26th, 2010
7:47 am

BTW,

Miami does not offer $60,000. per year scholarships to anyone. Their standards are extremely high.They are a private university.

Sorry, Chip......

March 26th, 2010
8:30 am

…but you are right AND wrong – while the NCAA standards are the same for all schools, the schools set their own parameters as to who they will accept and they can set higher standards than the minimum set by the NCAA – check the standards at UGA vs NCAA standards and you will see that UGA’s are higher than those acceptable by the NCAA.

If “the difference is how many student-athletes the schools will admit that fall below the requirements of the general student body and the curricula they have to take once they’re in”, then very few football and basketball players would ever get admitted to UGA, Tech, Duke, Vandy, Wake, UVA, UM, Cal, Stanford, Notre Dame, etc since their “regular” student body standards are so much higher than the scores and grades generally attained by most of those athletes.

bitter "old school uga fan"

March 26th, 2010
12:02 pm

i get the fillin that this kid is already home sick, so start the recruiting process that could get this kid transfered to uga or tech, his mind is on georgia, just ask ray charles.

biggbuzz

March 27th, 2010
1:49 am

devildawg is makin fun of names and you got a player named RANTAVIUS????? keep sniffin them butts devildawg!!!!

SickandTired

March 27th, 2010
9:22 am

Georgia Please! A Georgia fan arguing about admission requirements is like Tiger Woods speaking on family values.
Georgia: The Wisconsin of the SEC
Georgia deserves better

RomeDawg

March 27th, 2010
10:34 am

Chip,

Any idea the “real” story about this kid and why so many schools seemed to keep their distance from him? Clearly he’s talented but there seemed to be and untold story about him during the recruiting process.

Gerald

March 27th, 2010
6:20 pm

RomeDawg:

And why do you care about the “real” story? UGA didn’t want him, he went to a school that did, and a school that UGA will never play unless it is in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl. End of story. So the kid and his father worked the system and got the best deal that they could for Storm. More power to him; and that is something that will help Storm in the real world after his playing days are over. It’s probably how Johnson’s father made HIS money to begin with; were able to move to Buford when it was to their benefit and move to Loganville when it was to their benefit too. Boy, how we can’t stand those people when they get a little money! They get UPPITY! That’s how it works, right?

Well answer me this. How many of you diehard UGA football fans employ ex-UGA players at their businesses? Yeah right … that’s what I thought. You love these kids when their “stars” help them land higher rated recruiting classes than Auburn and Tennessee, and when they are making plays for UGA on Saturdays, but when the game ends, you UGA fans go back to looking out for yourselves and your own, don’t you? And the same for you Buford High graduates. Remember Darius Walker, your big time RB from a few years ago? Well his NFL career didn’t exactly pan out. Any of you Buford folks going to step up to the plate and give him a marketing job? Please.

Quit hounding Johnson for doing the same thing that you do for you and yours all the time. You folks are living proof that you like your football players, big, strong, fast and dumb enough for you to use them up and then throw them away when you are done with them.

The U

March 27th, 2010
8:03 pm

The U will blow Tech out again, just like last year. The game wasnt even competive.

tell it like it is.

March 27th, 2010
8:46 pm

The U—Hey they may blow us out but we have bigger fish to fry.

RomeDawg

March 28th, 2010
12:58 am

Gerald,

Dude, chill out on your dumb rant. I don’t know jack about Storm Johnson or his dad. Seems talented but alot of schools didn’t seem interested. Are you an unemployed ex high school football star with an ax to grind? Sorry I cheered on Friday nights but didn’t speak when you bagged my groceries 2 year later.

Danny Ford

March 28th, 2010
8:57 am

CANT WAIT TILL HE COMES TO KLEMSON………

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

March 28th, 2010
9:09 am

AND WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO YELLOW FUZZ ???????
HEARD HE WAS BANNED…. OH HAPPY DAYS !!!!!!!!!!

naganole

March 28th, 2010
3:37 pm

Terrance Smith just commited to FSU. Marshall will likely do the same at our spring game. Drew isn’t far behind. Hunter already rocking G&G. Crowell and Wright are Bama bound. So much for landing that GA top 10…

Loganville

March 28th, 2010
8:29 pm

Thank you Gerald!!!!!!!!

Ghost Writer

March 28th, 2010
8:35 pm

There is a book coming…….

Gerald

March 29th, 2010
1:57 pm

RomeDawg:

Sorry, nice try but a shoot and a miss. YOU were the one fishing for “Any idea the “real” story about this kid and why so many schools seemed to keep their distance from him? Clearly he’s talented but there seemed to be and untold story about him during the recruiting process.” You automatically presumed that there was something amiss with JOHNSON instead of the schools that didn’t recruit him and based on the early returns missed out on a good player.

But I will go ahead and tell you in case you actually don’t know: it’s called Buford bitterness. Instead of helping that program win yet another state title as a backup, Johnson went to another school so he could get more and better scholarship offers. This uniquely enraged the Buford contingent despite A) plenty of kids moving to where they can play for Buford in order to get a shot at scholarship and B) other kids leaving Buford for that same reason in the past.

So, a lot of schools backed off Johnson because they didn’t want to be seen by Buford as “rewarding Johnson’s treachery” and harm their chances with future Buford prospects. Instead, the schools that went after Johnson are those who either don’t care about the local politics or who already aren’t getting players from Buford anyway.

Now Johnson was an LSU commit originally, but wanted to enroll early, and LSU wanted to resist making things “official” because they didn’t want his coming and enrolling early to scare off any of the 5 star RBs they were after. Johnson didn’t want to delay his entry until the fall and no longer trusted LSU (who may well have dumped him or asked him to play another position or even grayshirt had they gotten their main RB targets) and justifiably decommitted, but unfortunately for Johnson that fit right into the “he is a problem child” story line that the Buford people were spreading, so when he reopened his recruiting he found few takers. Fortunately for Johnson, Miami was one of the takers.

So instead of trolling for nonsense about a kid who didn’t do anything that you wouldn’t have done in the same situation, you should be thinking about why UGA and especially Georgia Tech didn’t just tell the bitter Buford people to go fly a kite.

RomeDawg

March 29th, 2010
2:38 pm

Gerald,

Why didn’t you just say that to begin with?

Truth Be Told

March 30th, 2010
3:22 am

Gerald,

You hit the nail on the head.

yeah c'mone

March 30th, 2010
5:43 pm

How bout those GA boys taking over those Florida teams like they own them. Georgia has waaay better talent than Flarda.