vs. Bowling Green
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Yost Ice Arena
Men's Basketball vs. Bradley
NIT opener tickets
On sale today
The Michigan Daily
Thursday, October 9, 1986
By BOB KOURTAKIS emergenc
The State News Lorenzo
When Michigan State tailback suddenly
Craig Johnson was recruited out of awaiting h
high school three years ago, he had Look
his choice of colleges. does he hai
He was heavily sought after Johnson
following a 1,000-yard rushing held in h
performance his final high school simply sa
season. Since Spartan running comment.'
backs Aaron Roberts and Carl ALL T
Butler were seniors, Johnson past week
decided to attend MSU figuring he went dowr
would get plenty of playing time. Saturday;
BUT THEN came the stepped in
e of a tailback nam
White, and Johnson v
left in the shado
g back at his decisi
ye any regrets?
m rolled his eyes ba
is initial thought, th
aid with a laugh, "
HAT has changed in1
k, though. When Wh
m with a knee injury L
against Iowa, John
to the top tailback r
ys under Lorenzo's shadow
He will get his chance Saturday
against the fourth-ranked Michigan
Despite his previous second-
string status, Johnson's strength
has been his ability to produce in
nearly every time he was needed.
He is best remembered for last
year's Iowa game, when he ran wild
against the number-one Hawkeyes
for 89 yards in ten fourth-quarter
carries. Replacing White, who had
slightly sprained his ankle, Johnson
scored on a 25-yard fourth-quarter
touchdown run to put the Spartans
eventually won the game, but
Johnson's performance against a
top-ranked defense remains. But
even with those stats, how is a
player supposed to break into the
starting lineup over White? The
answer is: you don't. Still,
Johnson dutifully goes to practice
waiting for his turn.
"It doesnt really bother me, it's
just up to the coaches," the
Masillon native said before the
season. "I will run the ball more.
I may run a series here or there, and
he may run three. But I will see
the ball more."
AFTER LAST year's Iowa
game, Johnson was lined up to get
more work. But he broke his hand
in the next game and missed the
"I think if I didn't break my
hand, (White) wouldn't have run the
ball that much," Johnson said of
White's 419 carries. "The injury
really hurt my season."
This season Johnson has 17
carries for 96 yards - an
impressive 5.1 yards per carry. One
of his biggest plays set up a third-
quarter field goal in the Notre Dame
game, when MSU coach 'George
Perles played a hunch that paid off.
"I PUT Johnson into the game
because I had a feeling," Perles said.
"He got us 18 yards. I am glad it
Johnson's performance makes a
person feel he could be a starter at
schools that don't have a Heisman
trophy candidate. Perles reluctantly
agreed but added, "We have a lot of
players who could start on other,
Which brings us to the final
question; does it bother Johnson
that every one talks about Lorenzo,
Lorenzo, Lorenzo, while everyone
is talking about Craig who?
"It's no problem," Johnson
maintains. "You know every
athlete wants to be in the spotlight
they were in back in high school.
We remember being in a spotlight
and remember how good it feels."
.. . capable replacement
1. Michigan State at
Michigan (pick total points)
2. Wisconsin at Iowa
3. Purdue at Illinois
4. Ohio State at Indiana
5. Northwestern at
6. Oklahoma vs. Texas at
7. USC at Washington
8. Arizona at UCLA
9. SMU at Baylor
10. Georgia at LSU
11. North Carolina State
at Georgia Tech
12. Boston College a
13. Iowa State at Kansas
14. Colorado at Missouri
15. Pitt at Notre Dame
16. South Carolina a
17. Army at Tennessee
18. Navy at Air Force
19. Prairie View A&M vs
Bishop at Austin
20. State News at DAILI
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