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De Smet’s Jakailin Johnson invited to play in high school football all-star game

Jakailin Johnson [Dirt and Turf/De Smet Jesuit photo]

De Smet Jesuit junior defensive back Jakailin Johnson will be playing in an all-star bowl football game next January.

Johnson, a 6-foot-tall, 170-pound, two-way threat, has been selected by ESPN Recruiting to participate in the Under Armour All-America Football Game, De Smet Jesuit coach Rob Steeples said. The game is set for Jan. 2, 2021. It will be played in Orlando.

“That’s a big honor for Jakailin,” Steeples said. “We are always happy when our athletes get a chance to play on the national stage in all-star games like this. We had Jordan Johnson play this year in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio. I want to get a pipeline set up for these kinds of all-star games and De Smet to help showcase our athletes.”

As a junior, Johnson helped lead the Spartans to an undefeated season and a Class 6 state championship. He had two interceptions when De Smet capped an undefeated season [14-0] with a 35-20 victory over the previously undefeated Joplin Eagles at Faurot Field in Columbia.

Johnson made 42 tackles and collected seven interceptions during the season. He was a Class 6 all-state first-team choice by the Missouri Football Coaches Association and a Metro Catholic Conference first-team selection.

Johnson is the top-ranked junior in Missouri, according to several recruiting sights. He also is the No. 6-ranked corner in the country and the nation’s No. 69-ranked overall player.

He is a ball-hawking, fast-closing corner who isn’t afraid of contact or laying a hit down and doesn’t give up on plays.

The nation’s elite high school football players will participate in the Under Armour All-America Football Game. NFL Pro Bowlers like Julio Jones and A.J. Green competed in the inaugural game and No. 1 NFL Draft selections, including Jadeveon Clowney and Jameis Winston, are among the players who have played in the game.

Many colleges are trying to get a verbal commitment from Johnson. Among the schools interested in recruiting him are Missouri, Illinois, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Kentucky, Kansas, Minnesota, Purdue, Texas A & M and Virginia Tech.

Johnson posted on Instagram that Ohio State is in his top six, which also includes Georgia, Florida, Oregon, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.

Johnson visited Ohio State last Oct. 5 and got to see the Buckeyes’ 34-10 win over Michigan State.

In his announcement on Instagram, he noted that his options are still open to other schools.

Johnson said he knows what he’s looking for in a school. He wrote on social media that the defining factors are: “The academics, if I can get on the field early or not, and the relationships with the coaches.”

Steeples said the schools are doing a great job recruiting the four-star defensive back talent.

“It’s a little early right now, but the schools that stand out to him are the ones that lay out their plan as far as how they see him fit in their program, what they like about him, and what he can do better,” Steeples said.

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