"It was one day during school last year," the 5-foot-10, 170-pound receiver said. "(Outside receivers) coach Dave Nichol came to the school and my head football coach (Rob Senseney) showed him my junior highlights. We stayed in contact and I went to a couple of football games and visited before the summer. That's when he gave me my offer."
Johnson knows of ECU, he even mentioned using the team in video games with his friends.
"I knew ECU was a pretty good team before I got my offer," he said. "I like using them when we would play (EA Sports) NCAA Football. I also know who Chris Johnson is."
As far as visiting campus, Johnson went to the game against UTEP last season and unofficially visited before summer. He plans on taking an official visit to ECU senior year, most likely during the fall.
Johnson currently holds offers from Appalachian State, Old Dominion, UNC Charlotte and ECU. Coaches and players have helped to make ECU his current number one.
"Right now ECU is the biggest for me," Johnson said. "I like the coaches; I've met all of them including head coach Ruffin McNeill. I met the quarterback (Shane Carden) and some wide receivers. They all made me feel comfortable and told me they would help me fit in. Out of my offers, ECU is the only college I have visited. I plan to go see Appalachian State at some point as well."
Some student-athletes don't know what they want in a college, Johnson has a good idea.
"First I want a family atmosphere," he said. "I want to feel comfortable with where I'm at. Second is the academics and football comes next. I also plan on becoming a fire fighter one day."
ECU's move to the newly named Big East (American Athletic Conference) in 2014 has been a factor in Johnson's recruitment. He is excited to see the Pirates raising the level of competition and believes the team will hold their own and surprise some teams in the conference.
Johnson is almost finished with summer track and will have time to prepare for his senior season.
"I have two more track meets left this summer," he said. "I don't plan on taking anymore more visits this summer and don't have any more football camps. I think I'm going to just relax a bit, but stay working out to get ready for the season. After the season I'll take some official visits."
With a variable skillset, Johnson has seen time on defense and even runs the ball on occasion. His average 40-yard dash time is 4.5 seconds.
"I played defense freshman year," he said. "I haven't done it since then, but honestly wouldn't mind it. On offense, I like to run the ball out of the backfield and play in the slot. I would say the best part of my game is I'm pretty fast and catch well."
The decision to commit to a school isn't something Johnson takes lightly and he plans on taking his time while evaluating each school.
"I plan on making my decision at the last minute," he said. "I want see what I'm working with next year and I don't know if I'm going to play football, run track or both. I just spoke with the ECU track coaches and they said they're going to offer me soon."
If the Pirates offer Johnson a scholarship for track that would make them the first school to offer him in multiple sports. Running track and playing football at ECU is a manageable thing, an example of a current player doing so is running back Hunter Furr.