Oregon lands in Johnson's Top 8

Oregon makes the Top 8 for Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove defensive tackle Quentez Johnson.

Once verbally committed to Miami, three-star Cedar Grove defensive tackle Quentez Johnson is reevaluating his options this spring. On Tuesday, he released a list of his Top 8 schools on Twitter and Oregon made the cut.

Along with the Ducks, Miami, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Georgia State, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Louisville are still in the running for the 6-foot-3, 330-pound big man. SEC schools Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Arkansas are still alive and could enter the fray if they extend an offer.

"They're the teams that have been recruiting me the most and that I could see myself a good fit at," Johnson said of releasing the list.

It's no secret Oregon would welcome a player of Johnson's size and drive up front on the defensive line. Outside linebackers coach Erik Chinander has been at the head of Johnson's recruitment.

"He's been recruiting me real hard," Johnson said. "It's a big impact because it's Oregon."

Johnson said he'll "most likely" take an official visit to Oregon this fall and believes he's a priority for the Ducks. The junior thinks he can help the Ducks defensively in the competitive Pac-12 and has been told as much by Chinander.

"He's saying that I could be that key that they need to help them beat Stanford," Johnson said.

But landing a player like Johnson will be easier said than done. According to him, three coaches from the Southeast are making him a priority this spring.

"Coach [Steve] Stripling from Tennessee, Coach [Jethro] Franklin from Miami and Coach [Dameyune] Craig from Auburn," Johnson said.

And then there are the teams on the outside looking in. Since Johnson plans to take all of his officials and will likely announce on National Signing Day, plenty could change with his top schools.

Johnson is in the midst of an unofficial visit to Alabama. After taking part in a camp and showing the coaching staff what he could do during one-on-one's, he's confident that the hard work will eventually lead to an offer from the Crimson Tide.

"They work hard," Johnson said. "The warmups are even hard and they tell me that's an everyday thing. They say I'm a workhorse so I would fit in. They just told me to be patient."

The Tide will not be the only SEC school that receives a visit from Johnson in the coming weeks. On Saturday, he'll take an unofficial visit to Auburn and take another to Mississippi State next Friday. During these trips, he's looking forward to talking with the head coaches of each to see if he is a priority to them.

But when the time comes to make a decision, one factor will stand above the others.

"The relationship I have with my position coach," Johnson said. "I feel like I play better for you if we have a good relationship."

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