Although he has a scholarship offer and will be at the University of Arkansas' Seniors Only camp on July 21, Texarkana running back Dennis Johnson won't make it to next week's Houston Nutt Camp.
That's because – now that he is healthy – Johnson (5-9, 197, 4.3) feels the need for speed.
"I am going to Tyler, Texas to run in an AAU track meet," Johnson said. "This is the third one of about eight they have, but the first one my pulled hamstring has felt good enough that I could race in."
Speed is indeed one of Johnson's strengths, having laid down a best of 10.35 in the 100-meter dash and 21.43 in the 200-meter sprint before pulling up lame with the hamstring injury at his conference track meet.
His toughest competition in a lot of meets this year was fellow Texarkana speedster Fred Rose, who ended up winning those state titles.
That speed has no doubt helped Johnson on the football field where he rushed for over 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns last season while leading Texarkana to the Class 6A state title and being named the Player of the Year in that classification by the Little Rock Touchdown Club.
"It keeps me in shape and has helped develop that speed that I then take to football," Johnson said. "I think they work really well together for me."
Johnson got his first scholarship offer from Arkansas back in late February and has since added ones from Oklahoma State, Louisiana Tech, Tulsa, Northwestern (La.) State, Arkansas State and UCA.
Texas stopped by to watch him in spring practice and Auburn and Vanderbilt have also shown interest.
Arkansas – as it was back when it first offered – is still a major contender to land the signature of Johnson, who rushed for 1,734 yards and 18 TDs as a sophomore while splitting time with Razorback signee Brandon Barnett.
"They are just like they were when they offered – right there at the top," said Johnson, who bench presses 335 pounds and has been taking calls from Camden Fairview quarterback and UA commit Jim Youngblood encouraging him to stay in state.
"They have been a lot of people coming up telling me that I need to stay a Razorback,," Johnson said while referencing the fact that is high school's mascot as well as the one of the University of Arkansas.
Johnson capped off his junior season with 33 carries for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 27-7 win over Mountain Home in the Class 6A state championship game.
He could be close to making his decision known by the time he arrives at the Arkansas camp on July 21
"I think I will be able to make it right before the season starts," Johnson said. "That's what I am shooting for right now."
Speed to Burn
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