WR Gaining Attention from Several Schools

James Johnson attended ASU's team camp last week and enjoyed his time in Tempe. The Valley Center HS (Calif.) wide receiver from Escondido has caught the eye of the Sun Devils, who will have to contend with several western region programs to land the services of Johnson. Devils Digest talked to the WR about his experience in Tempe and his recruitment by the maroon and gold.

The Sun Devils have been recruiting the wide receiver for a few months now, and Coach Grady Stretz is Johnson's recruiting coach at Arizona State. "What impresses me the most is how hard they play," said Johnson of Arizona State, "and if they play that hard you know they practice hard every day. Their wide receivers coach (Eric Yarber) most definitely impresses me with all the NFL players he coached – you want to be part of that."

The 6-1 187 James Johnson cherished his weekend in Tempe and gained some invaluable knowledge in the process. "I enjoy competing and there were a lot of good players there at camp," he noted. "I got to learn the way ASU runs routes and all kind of different wide receiver techniques. The biggest thing Coach Yarber told us to do is always stay with the ball."

Because of his tight schedule, Johnson didn't get to see much of the Tempe campus before or after camp. Yet, a few of the facilities didn't go unnoticed by him. "They're building that indoor facility and that can help a lot with the heat," he said. "The stadium, the weight room, they were all real nice."

Oregon, Colorado, Colorado State, San Diego State, Utah are the only schools who have given Johnson written offers. "Arizona State told me that they're gonna offer me, and so did Cal and Arizona," said the wide receiver who added that in the last few weeks USC has been showing interest as well.

As a junior Johnson collected 69 receptions for 1,458 yards and 19 touchdowns and had a 99-yard kickoff return. Johnson went over 100 yards and scored a touchdown in nine games. He runs the 40-yard dash in a 4.58, benches 275lbs., squats 365lbs. and power cleans 250lbs.

"I'm a very versatile player that can play inside and outside wide receiver," he said of his skills. "I need to increase my knowledge of the game and I can always work on getting bigger, stronger, and faster."

Johnson was voted first team All-League, first team CIF (in his team's division) and first team All-State Underclass. Valley Center went 9-3 in 2007 and won CIF title in their division. "We'll be good this year too with a bigger offensive line and a lot of good returning players," said Johnson who expects his team to repeat their accomplishment.

Aside from the ASU camp, Johnson attended the Oregon Nike combine where he won the MVP award. He has no plans to go to other camps or combines before fall practice starts.

When it comes to the factors that will determine his school of choice, Johnson has a clear cut list. "Education is number one," he stated. "I'm also looking for a good environment. I'm not looking to be around a bunch of knuckleheads but around players who do the right thing. Obviously playing time is important. Whether I can play right away or play right after I redshirt, I want to go to a team where I can contribute."

Johnson hasn't started the process of setting up official visits yet, but declared that "Arizona State will get an official visit from me in the fall…I can't say how many official visits I'm gonna take or when I'm gonna commit."

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