Tyler Johnson being recruited by Sun Devils on defense

Tyler Johnson could play in college on either side of the football but likes how Arizona State is recruiting him.

One of Arizona's most coveted 2017 recruits is Gilbert Highland High two-way standout Tyler Johnson.

A 6-foot-4, 240 pound athlete who projects to the highest college level at either tight end or defensive end. Johnson has a wealth of suitors and he's not ready to consider cutting any of them from his list. 

Arizona State received a visit from Johnson several weeks ago, but there's been no further reduction from the list that Johnson put out in June. Even as Johnson has been on ASU's campus at least a few times this summer, he's not ready to convey any change in his status with the program.

"They're in there with the other 15 schools that have offered and have an equal chance just like everybody else," Johnson said of the Sun Devils. "I haven't narrowed it down or anything like that yet."

When Johnson visited he was able to spend more time with other local 2017 recruits he interacts with regularly on social media and has long stayed in contact with. 

"Just hung out with the other guys, some of the guys who are committed," Johnson said. "We've all talked. We talked when the offers came in and have stayed up with each other. We've all known each other for a while.

"The biggest thing about the visit was just getting the latest on everything with the facilities (project). Coach (Todd) Graham, he told us how much was all involved and going into it. It's pretty surprising all of that can go into a football facility. Like the new tunnel that is going to be on the north side that the players come out of, that caught my attention."

About half of the schools recruiting Johnson want him at tight end and half like him as a defensive end or outside linebacker. The Sun Devils are recruiting him for the defensive side of the ball at this juncture and he sees that as a positive. 

"I'm pretty happy about it," Johnson said. "They like me as a Devil backer. I grew up on the defensive side because of my dad and siblings so I've always thought a lot about defense. I'll play wherever they need me but I just prefer defense."


Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Pitt, Tennessee, UCLA, USC and Washington all also remain under consideration. Johnson has reported a scholarship offer from each of the schools. 

Johnson said he has no official visits set yet and may not start to make visit plans until October. 

Academics will be a key factor in his decision, Johnson said, and he's planning to study fire science or criminal justice in college. 

Johnson has a very unorthodox plan when it comes to how he'd like to reveal what school he will attend. 

"I plan on taking it to Signing Day," Johnson said in a previous interview with Scout.com. "If all goes according to plan, I will sign but I won't tell anybody until graduation when I speak in front of my graduation class. That's when I want to announce it."

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