Monday, February 20, 2012
Sooners part of Johnson’s incredible week
By Bob Przybylo
You’ll have to forgive defensive back Johnny Johnson Jr. (Fresno, Calif./Central East) for being a little excited right now. After some scattered interest on the recruiting trail, Johnson has blown up in the last eight days.
One of those offers was from Oklahoma as the Sooners reached out to Johnson on Thursday afternoon. Some offers haven’t caught Johnson by surprise. The OU one, however, Johnson admits to not seeing that one coming.
“I hadn’t talked or really considered OU much at that point, but I’m definitely interested,” Johnson said. “They’re a team that’s always on television so I know they have a great winning tradition. They said they looked at my film and liked what they saw.”
Fresno, Calif., cornerback Johnny Johnson received an Oklahoma offer last week.
Johnson, 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, was offered by USC at its junior day last weekend. And this weekend saw more good news for Johnson as he was offered by California at its junior day Saturday and also added UCLA to his list.
“This week has been very hectic,” Johnson said. “But it has also been like a dream come true. It is showing me that the hard work is worth it.”
Johnson’s high school coach knows about Johnson’s work ethic, even if he has only been on the job for only a month. Justin Garza took over at Fresno (Calif.) Central East in January and said he knew immediately this time of year was going to be busy with teams looking at Johnson.
“He has great instincts. I know he is getting all these looks at defensive back, but he’s also a pretty good wide receiver,” Garza said. “He’s a quality kid.”
And he is not the only one as Fresno Central East has one of the best defensive back groups in the nation that could feature another potential OU offer in safety Hatari Byrd.
At 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, Byrd has been getting more looks, too, with offers from Notre Dame, UCLA and California, among others.
Johnson said the competition between the group has helped him.
“Every day is a new challenge,” Johnson said. “I know I can compete with the top guys because I practice with some of the top guys every day.”
Johnson said he is not sure if he will visit OU, but he is excited that OU coaches intend to visit Johnson in the spring.
“I want to get to know them better and them get to know me,” Johnson said. “I’m a student of the game, and I want to show what I can do.”
Johnson said distance won’t be a factor in his decision. He said if he feels safe and feels at home, he would travel to anywhere to play.
Johnson also has offers from Notre Dame and Stanford, among others.