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Georgia duo ready to begin UM career

ROANOKE, VA. -- They grew up playing football together at the Pop Warner level and spent most of their lives in homes just a 10 minute drive apart in of the richest areas for football talent in Georgia. Tyrone Cornelius and Storm Johnson always thought there might be a chance they could be college roommates one day. They just never thought it would be at the University of Miami.

Tyrone Cornelius But Coral Gables is exactly where both will begin college this weekend when six 2010 football recruits begin arriving for the start of classes Tuesday (Jan. 19). 

"We've known each other since we were little kids," said Cornelius, a 6-2 1/2, 190-pound outside linebacker with 4.5-speed from Stephenson High in Stone Mountain, who played up the road from Johnson, a 6-1, 217-pound All-American running back from Loganville with 4.48-speed.

"For the longest time I thought he was going to LSU. Then, he decommitted and joined the University of Miami in November. I was stunned. But it made me feel better. At least now I know I can go down there with somebody I have a bond with."

Little by little, the Hurricanes have begun creating stronger bonds with top-notch recruits in Georgia. Call it the Wesley McGriff factor. UM's defensive backs coach is from Tifton, a three-hour drive south of Atlanta. Last year, he plucked defensive end/linebacker Shayon Green (6-2, 225) from his hometown (Green missed the season with a knee injury). This year, McGriff was all over Cornelius and was ready to pounce on Johnson, an ESPN Top 150 player, the moment he parted ways with his first choice, LSU.

All three Georgia players represent more of what the Hurricanes are looking for in their recruiting classes: players that don't just have more size, but are smart enough to handle more complex schemes and have the grades to get into school early.

Cornelius, who hopes to add on 20 pounds of muscle to his frame, graduated from high school with a 3.0 GPA and scored a 20 on the ACT. When you talk to him, he sounds just as smart as Jordan Futch and about as football saavy as Sean Spence. Johnson, who graduated with a 3.2 GPA and ACT score of 20, seems destined to make the same type of impact Mike James made last season.

"Coach McGriff actually came at me and showed me a lot love the spring before my junior year," said Cornelius, who plans on majoring in Forensic Science.

"The one thing he said he loved about me from the start were me academics. I've always been on top of my books. I think I've made only one C in high school. Graduating early has always been a big deal for me. Starting off on college early, getting that head start on football and academics is huge."

The Hurricanes could certainly use reinforcements at both linebacker and running back. Last season, after Futch went down with a torn ACL, UM rotated four linebackers -- senior Darryl Sharpton, junior Colin McCarthy, sophomores Sean Spence and Ramon Buchanon -- the rest of the season. Entering the spring, Cornelius said he hopes to learn a lot from the veterans to put himself in position to compete with Arthur Brown and Futch for playing time.

"As long as I'm on the field and helping the team out, that's all I care about," Cornelius said. "Either side -- weak or strong -- is good for me. I think I'll be able to catch on pretty quick. Their run defense is a lot like the one we ran at my high school, a pro style 4-3. Zone coverages, blitzes, stunts, I've done those before. I'm actually a very smart kid on the field.

"I could be a big hitter. But I prefer to see myself as a real fast linebacker. I can get from one side of the field to the other in a matter of seconds. I'm fast, take on blocks as well. I can also drop back in pass coverage. I know a lot of linebackers can play the run extremely well, but can't drop back in pass coverage with ease. But I can do that. Coach McGriff told me he wouldn't be scared to put me at safety either."

Storm Johnson Cornelius, a three-star recruit and Top 40 outside linebacker according to Rivals, Scout and ESPN, finished his senior season with 108 tackles, an interception, two forced fumbles, two blocked punts and eight tackles for loss and helped lead Stephenson to an 11-1 record and the second round of the playoffs.

He didn't get to play against Johnson, who literally lives 10 minutes from his house, because Loganville is in a different classification and county. But he respects his game plenty.

"Storm is a fast, bruising back, a North-South runner who you better be ready to take on," Cornelius said. "He's a strong worker in the weight room and very smart when it comes to the books. He does everything he has to do to stay on his game."

Johnson, who ran for 1,933 yards and 32 touchdowns on 252 carries his senior season in 11 games, said Cornelius "is gifted."

"Tyrone is a good guy, quiet, hard working and very smart," Johnson said. "He just flies to the football."

Johnson will arrive in Coral Gables Sunday night (a day after Cornelius) and said his goal is to make an immediate impact -- whether its carrying the football, blocking or handling kickoffs. With Javarris James gone and Graig Cooper (torn ACL) expected to miss all of 2010, UM's available backfield veterans are senior-to-be Damien Berry, redshirt freshman Mike James and junior Lee Chambers. Redshirt freshman Lamar Miller is also expected to make an impact. 

Johnson's recent performance at the Under Armour game in Tampa elevated his recruiting ranking on Rivals from a three-star recruit to a far star level and his him ranked 106th nationally overall. He will be joined by Booker T. Washington running back Eduardo Clements, ranked 156th overall by Rivals, in the spring.

"If I could wear the number 5 [a jersey number expected to be available after the departure of Javarris James] that would be great," Johnson said. "But other than that, I just want to come down, be another hard worker and get after it.


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this is great... good luck to both in the fall.

first dont worry all is well. sometimes u cant see the forrest because of the trees

Welcome to the U fellas. We need more kids like these two.

ps manny. randy's staff is out workindg everyone in the recruiting game. it makes no sense to say they dont know how to recruit what was the last three years classes top 20 or better. recruiting didnt change from this season from last.

Headline should read "Dandy breathes a sigh of relief as he fools guys into coming here." Cornelius was quoted as saying, "I like my chances competing against Arthur Brown." He went on later to say "We all know Coach Dandy loves 2-3* star guys and never coaches up the 5* guys. Heck, I heard we're getting some lacrosse player to play CB." Johnson commented by stating "I know the coaches love to make players switch positions all the time. I'm a top RB now, but I could be playing D-line or that Bosher guy is going to graduate soon so I might take a shot at kicker."

Great post, Manny, thanks. Good luck to both of these young men, and also to Shayon Green. Looking forward to seeing you this year, Shayon!

Manny, great to see you're off the tabloid bandwagon!!!!!

Great work. Very insightful, which is what I had come to expect from you.

Keep it UP!!

while the other recruits in the country will be lookn at themselves on feb. 3. six of our recruits will be in the playbook and weight room on campus. it would be good for linder and the other line man to get henderson from minn. whatever we do we need to make it our bizness to run the ball with possibly 3 or 4 young tailbacks. need some d ends and a another nice lb.

Coach Shannon is bringing in the right kids with their awesome attitude towards both the field and the classroom.

Berry will have an amazing year in 2010.

Go Canes!

Great story. This gives us some insight on what type of guys the U is looking for while recruiting. This is what we are looking for.

I see where you're going ponce, he doesn't play 5 star guys like ray ray, or brandon harris, or allen bailey, or forston(until he was injured obviously), or 4 stars like vernon, telemaque, mcgee, van dyke, spence, futch, buchanon. Actually he only doesn't really play one 5 star, brown, maybe there's a reason?

And oh wait now, you're right, ya the whole switching position thing is awful. Because trust me Damien Berry as a running back is awful, ya he probably would have been better at safety.... oh and shields who wouldn't have seen the light of day at reciever really helped out and corner and may get drafted, but another poor decision. Come on ponce, if you're gunna criticize criticize correctly atleast

Great post, ponce. Hilarious but TRUE - Shannon's personnel moves defy logic most of the time. He's a joke...

Great info. Manny!! It is good to see that Randy is recruiting SMART players. I know that the reason we don't go after some of these other guys that are going to UF and other schools is due to...how can I put this nicely...their lack of intelligence (they are to dumb to get into UM). Now, does that mean that all of UM's players are Rhodes Scholars, of course not, but they are recruiting for need. I hate to see the decommitments like everyone else, but I hope we finish strong in recruting. Hopefully we have some diamonds in the rough in tihs recruiting class. Look at it from this angle also, Virginia Tech, Texas Tech, Iowa, Orgeon, and numerous other teams regularly do not have top 20 recruiting and classes and these programs are typically 10 win teams. This year IMHO appears to just be an abberation in our recruiting. Let's support Coach Shannon and his staff continue to get their work done.

By the way, I know and expect for Miami not to be on par with any of those programs that I noted in my previous post. I know that Miami is a USC, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, (top 10) type of program. I was just naming those other teams as regards THIS years recruting class.

Great article Manny. These are two good kids. I watched tape on Storm after he gave his verbal. He runs like D. Berry, north and south, hard and fast. Welcome to The U. I hope Coach gives him number 5. It never hurts to accomodate these kids.

I'd definitely like to see more run this year to set up the passing game. We have the horses. If the line can work hard in the weight room they can do it. Linder sounds like he might be the eventual leader of that unit.

What about Henderson Manny? I read what U wrote, but I'm still hoping. Any chance U can give us the list of recruits on visit before LOI day?


Hey guys.. Just some thought I had on the last 'couple of days for the hurricanes..

- Thanks manny for writing so much. You've written like three articles in two days and they've been very insightful! I come on the Herald at least once a day because I want to see if anything new has been posted, thanks!

- Good thing Whip didn't go to USF. I want to see consistency from this team and keeping him another year is a bonus. Personally, I don't think he's THAT amazing. I've reviewed film (thank you DVR) and he is too pass happy. He had a line that averaged about 6'4'' 330lbs last year and threw the ball too much. Instead he should of used the four running backs and gone with whomever was hot at the time. The game where they stuck to the run (USF game) they dominated.

- I know because we're at the U we have high expectations but cut Randy a break on the recruiting class. Yes, to be honest, it isn't rittled with 5 star talent but he's done what he's needed to do to fill gaps. He has "verballed" about 7 line men and a few Dline (I hope for more). If you really want to see a crap shoot on how bad recruiting ranking mean nothing go and research yourself. I was laughing yesterday because I was looking up the past 4 years on UM and rankings on ESPN and the comments were amazing. One guy said Lee Chambers and Khylan Robinson would bring a gear that we haven't seen in awhile in our back field.. How have they been doing for us since their signing? Lets let randy do his thing and give him some time.

the youth league team they played for is called the Central Dekalb Jaguars (Mack Brown-UF committment also played with them). One of the best youth football programs in the SE. We consider ourselves the University of Central Dekalb (the Baby U). Many of the coaches are from MIA and are bringing the 305 style of football to Atlanta.

like i said before berry,johnson,miller,and james,will be a load for any team in the nation 2 stop...count on it.cain4life

I'm sorry, but I don't want to know about how these guys do academically. I wish them well and I hope they hit the books, but I want to know how many people they've layed out.

I know that sounds wrong and all, but whatever...we're not Duke.

Very excited about these quality young men joining the fraternity.

Our coaching staff sees the bigger picture, and has the right idea of how to build a program, from the ground up.

Let me say this to you impatient Canes, the internet critics and such:

We would be ready to clear space and build a statue of Shannon if we could have closed out Clemson, and the side judge throws the flag on the insanely obvious lateral at UNC.

Get a grip people, realize that we are on the right track.

P.S. Kirby Hocutt, if you're reading this, you better hire Mike Leach if Whipple leaves. Give him a freakin' mansion in Cocoplum and a key to the city if you have to.

Give Randy time? He's got next season to win the ACC...that's about all the time he has left.

Good job Manny. These two prospects have a good chance to see playing time early, in my opinion.I especially like this kid johnson, he's a horse.Here's something interesting, up to a few days ago rivals had eduardo clemens ahead of storm johnson in their rankings,Nothing agaisnt clemens, he's a nice player but he's not in johnsons league.What does that say about rivals and how they rate todays recruits.

I rather have a not so "sexy" Randy Shannon than some media darling who is thinking about his next opportunity....We've seen a good number of times of the last couple of weeks.

Another thing I love about Randy is that he's a TRUE CANE....It's not just a job for him!


I hope you're right, anything less and U can kiss future recuiting to get even worse.

"If I could wear the number 5 [a jersey number expected to be available after the departure of Javarris James] that would be great," Johnson said. "But other than that, I just want to come down, be another hard worker and get after it." .......... Storm Johnson

We need to start a Fan Club for this guy ... !! Thats what I am talking about

Chris- Ponce is right, I believe you are the one not being objective, cherrypicking,whatever you are another "HANDI" lover(our mentally HANDIcapped coach), check out www.firecoachshannon.com, ponce and others

To CanesJunkie: Arthur Brown "laid out" alot of people in high school and we see how far it got him in a college system. The point is smart players put themselves in position to lay people out.

Chris- even though i am wasting my time with koolaid drinkers such as yourself, why did a 6 year old girl know better than to kick to spiller with under a min left in the 1st half vs clemson? why did it take shannon, 3 years to figure out berry was better suited for running back than safety, and then when everyone saw he was the best runner, chose to leave him at 3rd string? so sam shields to cb was a great move? you cerry picked 7 or so 4 stars, what about the others? where is cj holton?by the way you mentioned mcgee, he only played vs famu are you kidding? shannon plays favourites, that is probably what is hurting him in recruiting the most right now, kids see that the best player will not necessarily play right away, you mentioned vernon, if ojomo is not hurt, he does not play early if at all, as great as he looks, so spare us, anyways enjoy the HANDI-koolaid

These GA kids sound like a perfect fit for the CANES..

Welcome to the U boys...now work hard and get after that NC!

GO Canes!

Johnson is the top running back in Georgia according to rivals and is rated to be much better than Mack Brown whom the Gators have committed and who has floundered in his senior season.

We're not Duke?

I agree with that on the football field, But we're better than Duke in the classroom for graduating football players...


The guys we're recruiting are very athletic but will need to grow and develop a bit. That's not a problem for us, as we're going to be loaded top to bottom from the junior class down. We need the brains as well, and it looks like we're getting them.

In Randy I Trust. Go Canes!

I'm glad we are bringing in smart kids, now maybe we can find one of those Einsteins to cover a T.E. and some some to pass block.

You know who else recruits "smart players?" Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Give me 4-5 star guys any day. Sure some will be too dumb to learn a system and not contribute, but the odds are that most will with their speed and size.

You can't teach speed. You can't teach size.


What kind of statue woudl you have built had the receiver from FSU caught that pass, Sam Bradford and Gresham(TEs who kill us) weren't hurt, and Wake came back?

Hey Ponce and Chris...with all due respect you should stop making comments...you two are lost. You need to realize that Shannon was in the UM system personally as a player. He was around the what I feel was THE BEST COACHING STAFF EVER ASSEMBLED...HERE ARE A FEW:

Jimmy Johnson - Front man
Butch Davis - Defense
Dave Wanstead - Defense
Gary Stevens - OC
Art Kehoe - OL
Alexander Hubbard - RB'S
Joe Broadsky - QB'S
Tony Wise - OL

These coaches were GREAT at taking certain high school football players and switching their posistion to something other then what they played in college and had great success with it...if I were an incoming player my question would be to them...Hey coach...I know I was a RB in High school...but...if their is a posistion you think I could even be better at...that would GET ME TO THE NFL...then I'm all for it...SO DO US A FAVOR AND STOP WHINING LIKE LITTLE GIRLS...

Just a quick question? Why is it that both of these guys did not want to go to Georgia? I mean Georgia is not exactly regarded as a program which is lower than the "U". Is Georgia stacked at LB and RB? I know one thing, aside from a couple of recruits it seems this year Miami has gone to town on 3 star recruits. Hope these 3 star guys pan out like Edd Reed and Dan Morgan did. GOOOO! CANES!

Um joe i was against Ponce and supporting your point so i don't see where the whining comes from

Looks like Johnson is next in line at the wood chipper.

I love that we get all these good running backs but without even a decent O-line, they'll end up as cannon fodder, e.g., G-Coop. Too bad this ain't the NFL 'cause I would trade two stud RBs for one stud OL, same goes for receivers.



Who from this team is going to do much in the NFL? Fox will get drafted and maybe a few others. Who got drafted last year? Maybe an 2nd day after thought? Face it, no one is great, no one is dominant, 2nd year of no first rounders, we probably won't even have a first day draft prospect. That's our new bar--getting drafted. That leads to 9-4 and and getting spanked and looking lost against WI. To quote Spinal Tap, Smell the Glove!

Gone are streaks of wins in the OB and first round draft picks. Our new streaks are getting someone drafted, making a bowl game, and finishing above .500. Nice standards.

Kirby, please pull the plug and show some leadership.

Chris....I just read your post again....my apologies....

Ponce...lets give it one more year...there were talks about Albert Bailey going in the first/second round if he were to come out this year...HE WILL BE our first - first round pick next year when he finishes his senior year. We are finally rid of Cokers recruits...give Shannon a little more time and things will pan out...I know they will...Not sure how you could reference "streaks of wins" in the OB...the 58 game streak is something that will never be accomplished again...so....lets just concentrate on going better then 9-4 next year and actually winning our bowl game...

Good luck Storm. I hope U can be that 1,000yd rusher we need and havnt had since Willis.

The Canes have improved every year under Shannon. I can't believe people are calling for his head based on recruiting this year. The "star system" is completely arbitrary. Can anyone here explain why Ed Reed was a three star recruit and Lance Leggett was a five star recruit?

Storm Johnson is.. the top RB of 2010 class. Forget what ESPN or Rivals says about this stud. Johnson's style of play makes him hard to tackle--very elusive. He has nasty jukes. GREAT pick by Miami. Under Armour game was too easy for Storm Johnson. His status went from 3 to 4 stars? LMAO. He's better than that. You'll see.


I'd rather have educated athletes than dummies any day. Shannon continue to do your thing. All you haters will have to give Shannon his credit. That's the most annoying thing to all you haters; acknowledgement!!!!

dont know who this ponce is, but he's a jack ass-O support your team moran or start going for another team!

you know who else is a smart player?


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