- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill called Shaker Heights, Ohio, safety Antonio Johnson tonight to let him know he had a scholarship offer.
Seconds later, Johnson let Kill know he was going to be a Golden Gopher.
“It’s really a dream come true,” Johnson said less than an hour after receiving the phone call from Kill. “I’ve always wanted to play on the big stage, the Big Ten and a BCS school.”
Last week, Johnson committed to Ball State but said he would still officially visit Minnesota this past weekend. For Johnson to make the switch, he said Minnesota would have to blow him away. The Gophers did just that.
“I was like I can’t just blow this away,” he said. “After I was just up there and seen everything and seen the players, I could just get the whole vibe and whole atmosphere and knew it was for me.”
Minnesota originally was recruiting Johnson at running back, but this weekend the staff made it clear it wants him 5-foot-11, 190-pound two-star prospect at safety. On Sunday, Kill told Johnson he wanted to evaluate him and two other safeties on film and would make a decision as to which one he would offer.
On Tuesday, Kill chose Johnson.
Since returning home from his official visit Sunday, Johnson had a lot to think about. He committed to Ball State a little more than a week ago after a visit there after he felt it was the best non-BCS option for him.
“From when I first went up [to Minnesota] I knew it would be a hard decision,” Johnson said. “The more and more I was up there, it started coming in pieces like ‘Yeah I got to do it. I just got to be at Minnesota.’ ”
Johnson is Minnesota's 25th known commitment and third safety in its 2012 class.