Former UNLV DB Ricky Johnson transfers to Michigan

Reigning national champion Michigan has added a defensive back from the Mountain West Conference via the transfer portal.

Former UNLV defensive back Ricky Johnson announced on social media Saturday his commitment to transfer and join the Wolverines after four seasons with the Rebels.

Johnson will be part of new head coach Sherrone Moore’s first season at the helm of Michigan’s program. The 6-foot-1 defensive back is a veteran of 30 games, including a career-high 12 last season after battling back from an injury in fall camp 2022 that limited him to three games that year, who has compiled 78 tackles, four interceptions and 14 passes defended.

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Johnson posted career bests across a number of statistical categories in 2023. He totaled 36 tackles, including 25 solo and a season-high six against Kansas in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, in addition to seven passes defended, which tied for 10th-most in the Mountain West Conference, and three tackles for loss. He was also named to the preseason all-conference third team before the campaign.

Johnson broke out in 2021 when his three interceptions tied for the UNLV team lead. He collected 25 tackles and two pass break-ups. The Houston native is also a standout in the classroom, having been a three-time member of the Academic All-Mountain West Team from 2020-22 and earning recognition as a 2021 Mountain West Scholar Athlete.

According to Austin Curtright of USA TODAY, Michigan has added three players in the secondary in addition to Johnson through the portal this offseason. The Wolverines will see former defensive backs Aamir Hall of Albany, Jaden Mangham of Michigan State and Wesley Walker from Tennessee join their program through the portal ahead of the 2024 season.