Tempe High School 2017 pass rusher My-King Johnson took an unusual route to end up at his his collegiate destination. Yet, he has no regrets.
“I was obviously committed to UCLA for a while, but the entire time Arizona kept recruiting me and I kept an eye on them," Johnson said. "I didn’t really think I would end up there, but for some reason they wouldn’t really leave my mind.”
A school pursuing an in-state prospect committed to a rival isn’t much of a surprise, but what happened next is unusual.
“Through my season I kept thinking about some of the skills and techniques that the Arizona defensive line coach had showed me at one of their camps and it was weird because throughout the season I was using these little skills and I saw my numbers continue to get better," he said.
“They really emphasized using my hands in a different way than I had and nobody had really taught me the technique, but it really worked.”
As Johnson was keeping an eye on his committed school, he noticed some differences between UCLA and Arizona.
“Arizona said from the beginning that they needed new blood in there and a lot of new guys were playing," he said. "At UCLA, they were struggling but not a ton of new guys were playing.
“Then when the U of A coaches visited me a couple weeks ago it dawned on me that I wanted to stay in state and I wanted to become a Wildcat. There was a comfort level there that I didn't have with any of the other schools.”
Johnson is eager to hit campus and start working with the coaches.
“They’ve already helped me out," he said. "I can only imagine what will happen when we’re working every day together.”