RECRUITING: Stafon Johnson Deals With Distractions

Getting noticed is something that happens every day for Los Angeles (CA) Dorsey's Stafon Johnson. Because he's considered one of the top recruits in the country on either side of the ball, as a playmaking safety or a gamebreaking tailback, he gets tons of mail every day and talks to the top coaches in the country, including Coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators.

But, getting noticed isn't just limited to football these days. There was one brief moment in the middle of our interview when it came to light that everyone wants a piece of Stafon Johnson.

"Hey, how ya doin'?" he said, but it was obvious that he was speaking to someone else. And the voice that replied to him certainly wasn't that of a coach or one of his buddies.

At that moment our conversation went on hold. I could tell his mind wandered away from a guy that was going to put his name on computer monitors all over the country to that of handsome, eligible young bachelor in LA, whose attention had just been caught by a young lovely who just "happened" to walk by and catch his attention. This may be the recruiter's biggest nightmare. Johnson has the ladies coming hard after him also.

After handling the distraction, he shifted his focus back to our conversation. Much like he does when he's got a football in his hands, Johnson has the ability to change gears, or in his case, positions. The focus pops right back like when he sees the end zone as a guy with the ball, or he sees the bulls eye on someone's chest as a hard hitting safety. Johnson knows he has some tough decisions to make and it will take a while to make them.

There is no doubt it has been a busy spring and early summer for Johnson. As school winds down with the last three weeks left, he has been showered with attention from coaches everywhere. At times it has been hectic.

"Yeah, for sure," he said noting the craziness of the recruiting. "I was getting calls most every day, although right now they aren't supposed to be calling me. It has been a long year and school will be over in about 16 more days."

Big name schools like Oklahoma, Michigan, LSU, Nebraska, were the latest to offer Johnson and the list continues to grow along with all of the letters and phone calls and text messages and all that now comes as a new method of recruiting players.

"The text messages are something strange that is happening to me that I never really had as something regular before," he said. "Coach Meyer (University of Florida Head Coach) sent a text to me today and told me about two linemen that just committed. He just wanted to keep me informed."

No doubt, Meyer wanted to ensure Johnson that he would have some beef to run behind if he decided to be a Gator. Last time we talked to him he knew the Gators were going to get an official visit. That still stands, but no further developments lately on a date. He just hasn't had the time. When school is out he can start to whittle away at the top schools and plan his visits and figure out his favorites. He doesn't plan on having those official visits totally set until maybe November.

"Visiting Florida is still kind of the plan, but with school still in we haven't been able to plan much right now," he said. "I really don't have any favorites … I really just have the same top schools and I can't put them in categories yet. Florida, Miami, Tennessee, Michigan, Colorado, Cal, USC … basically everybody is recruiting me hard. All the convincing is really kind of done, there isn't too much more someone like Florida can share with me to get me to come out to Florida."

Stafon Johnson has the world in front of him and looking directly at him. Everyone wants a piece of him, but they all can't have him. The "distractions" will be many, but in the end Johnson will have to focus and finish, just like he does on the football field.


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