Arkansas' future punter found himself smack dab in the middle of the celebration on Saturday night at Reynolds Razorback Stadium and absolutely loved it.
Los Alamitos, Calif., star Blake Johnson (6-1, 190) – ranked as the nation's best high school punter and a U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection – took his official visit to Arkansas this past weekend and got to see the Razorbacks downed LSU 17-0.
Johnson, who left to return to California on Monday, was one of the thousands of fans that stormed the field after the win – one that ended a 17-game SEC losing streak and handed the home team the win in “The Battle For The Boot.”
“That game was like nothing I have ever experienced,” Johnson said. “The crowd noise was just nuts and the atmosphere was just awesome. It was just so exciting to me that I can hardly find the words to describe it. Just awesome. I had to go rushing the field with everybody else. It was just great.”
It was Johnson's second visit to Fayetteville with the previous one coming in July when he earned his scholarship offer after booting the ball spectacularly at a Razorback camp and committed almost immediately over Texas and others.
He was one of four official visitors and 64 overall recruits that were on hand to see the Razorbacks win.
“I got a chance to see the academic center, meet with (Arkansas Director of Academics) Ragean Wilson and all the academic advisors,” Johnson said. “I also got a chance to see more of the campus and hang out with the players and coaches. It just made me even more sure of my decision to be a Razorback.”
It was a great end to the weekend for Johnson, who had a crushing Thursday when his heavily favored team was upset by El Toro 59-21 in the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
Anything that could go wrong for the Griffins seemed to according to Johnson, who is the heir apparent to Razorback senior punter Sam Irwin-Hill and is one of 18 commits in a Razorback class that is ranked 16th nationally.
“That was just brutal, just a rough one,” Johnson said. “I think we had five turnovers by the offense early on and it was 28-0 before even the end of the first quarter. I think we came in a little cocky and it just went really bad really quickly.”
Johnson was an All-Conference linebacker as a junior and is line for that honor again this season after a campaign in which he had 72 tackles, four sacks and an interception while also serving as his team's back-up quarterback.
He only had 28 punts this season and averaged 37.1 yards per boot with a long of 63 yards and 12 of those landing inside the 20-yard line.
“I had a great year playing linebacker, but thought I could have done better punting,” Johnson said. “But it's tough when you go out there and play four downs and then have to punt as well. I am looking forward to putting all my effort into that next season.”
Johnson Raves About Awesome Atmosphere
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