JC CB still committed, looks forward to visit

Even before the coaching change in Tempe, Sun Devil pledge Oliver Johnson was considering other options and last month those clouds of doubt certainly didn't easily dissipate. However, after meeting the new ASU staff the L.A. Pierce cornerback is heavily leaning towards sticking with his commitment as he officially visits the Sun Devils this week.

"Me and my parents met with coach (Chris) Ball," said Oliver Johnson. "I think he's a good guy, very passionate, and I think he can help me get my game to the next level. I also think the defense as a whole will be better with the new coaches.

"I think he's an honest good guy and I respect that."

The 6-2 200-pound corner is obviously a physical player in nature and Johnson said that the Arizona State defensive backs coach appreciated that aspect of his game.

"I'm a player that will do whatever is asked of him and he liked that about me," Johnson stated.

Mid-season and despite missing the first few games of the year with a high ankle sprain, Johnson, who committed to ASU last April, was attracting attention of many schools such as Miami, Mississippi, Oregon State and Utah. He was also offered scholarships by Texas Tech, New Mexico and New Mexico State.

The attention at that time was definitely intriguing for Johnson, and he was willing to listen to his new suitors. Yet, with the Sun Devils off to a strong start the L.A. Pierce defender really had no plans to back out from his pledge and was looking forward to playing for the staff that had recruited him and ultimately convinced him to don the maroon and gold.

Once Johnson learned that the staff at ASU won't be retained, he naturally had his doubts about his future with the team he originally selected to play for. He was unable to graduate his junior college in December and be a mid-year transfer which now allowed him more time to weigh his options.

"I was worried if they were going to honor my scholarship so I was looking around," Johnson recalled. "I really wanted to stay with Arizona State and wanted to see if the new coaches were interested in me and if I liked them. At the same time I was getting really close to Texas Tech and New Mexico and those schools showed a lot of interest in me.

"But after speaking to coach Ball I decided to stay committed. I've been committed to them for so long and that's the school I wanted to go to all along."

Johnson said that there still is a chance he may visit New Mexico after his ASU visit, but wasn't absolutely locked on that course of action.

"My goal is to sign with Arizona State and come there in May," Johnson declared. "If I do take another visit it's just for my own experience being recruited. I did tell New Mexico a while back that I was going to visit them and I don't want to break my word.

"I'm getting a good vibe from the Arizona State coaches and my plan is to still sign there."

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