Sunday, January 20, 2013
OT Dwayne Johnson talks Nebraska visit
By Sam Khan Jr.
Houston Bellaire offensive tackle Dwayne Johnson has seen his stock rise in recent weeks and months.
A former Purdue commitment, the 6-foot-6, 275-pound three-star prospect has picked up offers from quality programs like Arkansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma and scheduled official visits for each.
On Sunday, Johnson took his trip to Nebraska and it went well.
"I'd say [I liked] everything," Johnson said. "I had high expectations all along. I mean, it's Nebraska. You can't go wrong with that. They have an excellent football program. They've been good already and they could have more to come with program."
Asked to rank the trip on a scale of one-to-10, Johnson responded convincingly.
"I'd say past 10," he said. "No doubt."
The visit went so well that Johnson might not take his scheduled official visit to Oklahoma on Jan. 25.
"Yeah, I might end up canceling it," he said. "I'm not sure about that one."
Is he not so hot on Oklahoma or really leaning toward Nebraska?
"A little bit of both."
As for his Feb. 1 trip to Arkansas, the status of that is uncertain as well. Johnson said he wasn't sure yet whether he would take it.
In regards to the Nebraska trip, Johnson, who has been recruited by offensive line coach John Garrison, got the chance to spend time with Garrison and meet head coach Bo Pelini. The head coach left an impression on Johnson, the nation's 42nd-ranked offensive tackle.
"He's a great dude," Johnson said. "He's up front with everything. He seems like a tough dude but hey, that's what you want in a good football program. He's going to push you around. That's what you need. You need someone to push you the extra mile. You can see that in him and his determination."
He also enjoyed his time with Garrison.
"That was who originally started recruiting me," Johnson said. "This was the first time I got to meet coach Garrison but we talked a lot before [on the phone]. Coach Garrison is a pretty cool guy. I think he's a great coach. I got to see some of the schemes that they run and everything and I loved it."
Johnson said he grew up liking Nebraska's football program and as a former Purdue commit, he does like the Big Ten as a conference. Another important area to Johnson that Nebraska impressed him with was academics.
"Academics was probably one of the best things they had to offer," Johnson said. "Many might say it's not much of an academic school, but I would say the programs they have to offer are excellent. So that was great."
Johnson was hosted by a fellow Houston-area product, Houston Alief Taylor's Givens Price, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman for the Cornhuskers.
"It went well," Johnson said. "We got along. I got to get around a few of the other offensive linemen and it went great."
Nebraska's pursuit of Johnson in recent weeks has been strong, with four assistant coaches making an in-home visit one night earlier this month. The Cornhuskers will be in for another in-home visit on Wednesday, this time with Pelini and Garrison making the trip. Right now, Johnson feels good about the Cornhuskers and a decision could be looming in the near future.
"I've got to sleep on it, wake up, feel good about it and go from there," Johnson said.