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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | 2021 Notre Dame Commit JoJo Johnson A Versatile Athlete With High Ceiling

November 25, 2020

JoJo Johnson‍ did it all for Merrillville (Ind.) High School and head coach Brad Seiss.

Johnson played cornerback, wide receiver, running back, returned kicks and even lined up at Wildcat quarterback at times.

“He’s really, really versatile,” Seiss said of the 5-foot-11, 170-pounder. “In the high school game, he’s more impactful offensively because you can get him the ball.

“Defensively, this year, nobody really threw at him. The fact that he can do so many things makes him the special type of player he is.”

Johnson’s high school career is over after a loss in the state semifinals earlier this month. On Tuesday, he announced his commitment to Notre Dame, where he will play cornerback.

“He’s really athletic,” Seiss continued. “The fact that he works with so many position groups, does so many different things, when he truly focuses on one thing, you’ve got to figure the sky’s the limit for him.

“He’s really good in Man coverage, good body control. He’s good with his hands. He’s good with his feet, cutting guys off, understanding positioning. He does a lot of things really well in Man coverage. We would blitz him off the corner some and do some different things with him. He’s really versatile defensively in what he can do too; whether that’s being a Zone coverage guy who could bait a guy into making a throw he shouldn’t or playing Man.”

Johnson is tight with his father who is “a die-hard Notre Dame fan,” but that’s not the only reason he chose the Irish.

“Here, Notre Dame is the closest school,” said Seiss, noting that other parts of the state are closer to Indiana or Purdue. “They’re on national TV every week.

“You match the caliber of football program they are, being #2 in the country right now, along with being as high of an academic institution as it is, if you’re lucky enough to get recruited by there and smart enough to get in, it’s something a kid from Northwest Indiana would dream to do.”

And Seiss believes Johnson matches the caliber of person Notre Dame attracts.

“He’s just a really nice kid,” the coach said. “He’s always smiling. He’s got a good relationship with his teammates. He’s a 17-year-old kid who likes to joke around and have fun, loves football.

“In the classroom, when you ask him to do something, he does it. On the football field, when you ask him to do something, he does it. I know those are basic expectations for people, but those are hard to do for some kids.

“As good as he is, he’s really humble. You would never know by the way he carries himself that he’s our best player, which I think is a good trait to have, especially when you’re a skill kid and your name is in the paper a lot and people know who you are. The way he carries himself is really impressive.”

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