Johnson caps Clawson career with All-State nod; Sparks earns honorable mention
Published December 11, 2013
CLAWSON — When a play had to be made, he was usually there to do it.
When a pass had to be caught, there were no surer hands on the team — maybe none in the entire area.
“We were spoiled to have a guy like that.”
That’s what Clawson High football coach Jim Sparks said last week about senior Marquian Johnson, a go-to receiver that spent the 2013 season putting up some gaudy stats while helping the Trojans to a 7-3 year and back to the state playoffs.
“He had one of the best years any wide receiver in this area has had in a long time,” Sparks added. “And when you factor in what he meant to our team, he was invaluable.”
He was also rewarded, earning a nod to the Division 4 All-State team last week.
“It meant a lot to me, to be recognized like that,” Johnson said. “It’s cool to know people watch you like that. I always try to be a positive guy that brings a lot of energy to the field.”
Johnson finished his senior campaign with 63 catches, 1,331 yards and 14 touchdowns. In the past two years, he’s hauled in 100 passes for more than 1,900 yards and 26 scores.
“To have a guy like that was awesome,” Clawson junior quarterback Ty Sparks said. “Whenever you needed a big play, you knew he’d come through. The will he had to make a play and help our team was pretty special.”
“In our offense, the way we like to throw the ball, you can take a kid like that for granted,” Jim Sparks said. “But looking back, we were spoiled to have a guy like that. He was awesome. He dictated coverage and opened things up for other guys.”
Thanks to the past two seasons, the college attention toward Johnson has been plentiful.
He’s received scholarship offers from a number of Division 2 schools, has been visited by Youngstown State and Indiana State, and has an official visit to the University of Indiana scheduled.
“I’m just blessed,” he said. “I have no idea what I am going to do yet, but to have the opportunity to continue my career while getting an education is pretty special.”
Sparks also honored
Ty Sparks was quick to pass out the compliments in regards to Johnson, but the junior signal-caller was honored himself this season, earning a spot on the All-State honorable-mention squad.
“I wasn’t really expecting it at all,” Sparks said. “When you look at the division I’m in, and some of the other guys, it’s a great honor.”
Sparks completed 159 passes this fall for 2,299 yards, 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
“He had a great year,” Jim Sparks, coach and dad, said of Ty. “I think it kind of caught him by surprise to be recognized like this, but he’s proud, and he should be.”