The trip to Jonesboro, Ark., proved to be better than expected for junior college wide receiver Eddie Johnson (Corsicana, Texas/Navarro College). It was so good, in fact, that he decided to end his recruiting process late Saturday evening.
Johnson gave Arkansas State his verbal pledge during an official visit and became the first commitment for new Red Wolves head coach Bryan Harsin. A big receiver at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Johnson picked Arkansas State over offers from Mississippi State, Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic.
Johnson said Harsin and the staff are looking to play him as an H-back. He was recruited by tight ends coach Dean Jackson.
“It’s a program on the rise; they’re doing big things,” Johnson said. “I talked to the new head coach [Saturday], and he put me on to everything. He said I was a big-body type who can play all over the field.
“He watched my tape and said they want me to use me as an H-back, where I’d be able to flex out at receiver and then come into the backfield or go out 1-on-1. I told him that sounded real good.”
Redshirt senior H-back Andre Smith was Johnson’s player host, and Johnson said he enjoyed every facet of his official visit. He had a chance to meet future teammates and said the overall camaraderie within the players was something that helped him make a decision.
“They showed me a lot of love. I felt comfortable there, and I’m comfortable in what they’re telling me,” Johnson said. “All it comes down to is that I’m a ball player, and I have to be a playmaker. If I do that, everything will work out.”
Johnson finished his sophomore season at Navarro with 27 catches for 351 yards and five touchdowns. He helped Navarro win back-to-back C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl titles and was a part of a program that has won three consecutive Southwest Junior College Football Conference championships. Navarro finished the year 10-2 and ranked No. 4 in the final NJCAA poll.