Harbaugh optimistic on eligibility for Johnson
Written by Matt Pargoff   

The Wolverines already learned that cornerback Jeremy Clark will not receive a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA, but the case for running back Drake Johnson is one that should be far more compelling. His head coach Jim Harbaugh expressed optimism on that situation while speaking on Wednesday.  

“I don’t know if anything is ever foolproof when you’re doing an appeal, but he’s had two lost opportunities to play,” said Harbaugh. “Two years where he hasn’t been able to play due to injury. So I think that’s a no-brainer, but we shall see, as they say.”

Playing for Ann Arbor Pioneer in high school, Johnson sat out for non-medical reasons as a true freshman. However, he has since missed out on two seasons because of injuries, which would likely allow each of them to count as the redshirt years on the medical hardship waiver.

Johnson saw action in the season opener against Central Michigan in 2013, but tore his ACL early in the contest while playing on special teams, missing the remainder of the fall. Tearing his ACL for a second time against Ohio State in 2014, he returned to play the next season. The second redshirt that the Wolverines are pursuing is for 2016, when Johnson was run over by a forklift in off-season, and suffered an additional lower body injury in fall camp that held him off the field.

No date has been set for when Michigan and Johnson expect to hear the verdict from the NCAA on his case.


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