Tyreke Johnson (Photo by Corey Bender)

Scout's No. 9 player in the country Tyreke Johnson discusses his recent visit to Florida to see the Gators' spring game.

Tyreke Johnson returned to Florida for the second time since February. The five-star cornerback discusses his latest trip to The Swamp and where the Gators stand in his recruitment.

Tyreke Johnson made his second visit since February to Florida on Friday night to see the Gators' Orange and Blue Debut spring game. 

"I love what I saw from the defense," said Scout's third-ranked cornerback in the 2018 class. "They played a lot of press man. It seems like they want those long corners inside the dude's face to challenge the receivers at the line, that is something very exciting. I also like how the defense was just flying around, hitting people. I know it's your own team and you don't want to hurt no body, but tonight it was like they left it all on the field. They just gave it a lot, 110 percent." 

With top corners Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson both declaring for the draft, Johnson was interested to see who was going to step into those roles. 

"I was curious to see how they were going to play because of the guys that left," he said. "They got Chauncey [Gardner] up to date. He is looking great like he is going to be a first round corner."

When Johnson visited UF in February with his Pro-Impact 7-on-7 team, he had the opportunity to meet with new defensive backs coach Corey Bell. Since then the relationship between them has progressed. 

The relationship "just started. I kind of like him; he is a real dude. He coached one of my close friends, Raekwon Williams, down there at FAU, and he tells me that he is a very good coach," said Johnson. "He [Bell] tells me I can come here and leave a legacy at my home state. You don't have to go far to leave a legacy and go into the league."

Although Bell is a new face for Johnson, he is still in contact with his recruiter at UF, Tim Skipper. The linebackers coach has been Johnson's recruiter for years, and he has a familiar message for Scout's ninth-ranked player in the country. 

"Come down the street and be home. I can come here and leave a legacy, same thing as Coach Bell." 

Florida welcomed a handful of corners in the 2017 class, but does not scare Johnson away from the Gators. 

"At Trinity we always have top corners," he said. "Being a competitor is what sets you apart from the next man. Coming here and compete is something that you will leave here. At Trinity we live to compete, we compete everyday. Just because they signed five corners it doesn't mean that all five have to play because I plan to come here and taking something."

Although the Trinity Christian Academy playmaker is not a fan of providing top schools, he says Florida has done a few things right in order to stay on his mind. 

"Just continue showing me that they are breeding DBs," he said. "It's not all about the wins and losses, it's about how they breed your position and are they putting guys in the NFL." 

Florida has certainly moved the meter when it comes to Johnson and his recruitment, but they still have some competition. The 2018 defensive back has not been shy when it comes to talking about his admiration for the west coast and its schools like UCLAUSC and Stanford

"It's just with them their academics sets them apart from everyone else. If you look at all the west coast schools, their academics are outstanding," he said. "Schools in the south are on a lower level than west coasts when it comes to academics especially in my major [business and finance] out there is a gold mine. First it's the networking you can meet out there in California because thats one of the business capitals in the world and it's a lot of opportunity out there."

Many have pointed to the Bruins as a team to beat. 

"Coach Meat seems to produce silent sleepers," he said. 

However don't discount schools on the east coast either. Former Trinity teammate Shaun Wade early enrolled at Ohio State and is often in Johnson's ear. 

"He tells me that I will fit in perfectly in the locker room," said Johnson. "He loves it. Everyone is treating him like one of the upperclassman. He said there really is no freshman the way they are treated. He said everyone is considered equal and you make your place." 

As far as visits, Johnson has not thought too far ahead. 

"All I know is I'm going to the the spring game at Florida Atlantic on the 22nd." 

Johnson plans to be a mid-year enrollee so he's on track to make a decision late this year or early in 2018.


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