Anthony Johnson is a star in the making. The 6'2" guard from Chicago's Whitney Young High School is regarded as the second best player in the state of Illinois, behind Richmond. Johnson knows what Weber has done recently on the recruiting trail, and is hearing about it directly from the recent commitments, "I talk to Jereme and D.J. [Richardson, class of 2009] on the phone from time to time. They talk to me a little about us playing together but they really don't force the issue with me. But, I know it's something that's being talked about," said Johnson.
For so many players, it is important to get along with the staff and players. Johnson said that's not going to be a problem for him when it comes to Illinois. "I like it down there. I've been to Champaign maybe three times. I was down there as an 8th grader and for Midnight Madness. I really liked that, the atmosphere was awesome. I like the history of the school and the coaches are really good. They know what they're doing," Johnson stated.
Johnson has a great list of schools recruiting him, and he gave us his top five in no particular order: "I like Illinois, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Kentucky and I'm suppose to visit Marquette, but I'm not sure when that will be."
Weber's approach has been to get in on players early and put offers on the table. So far, that's worked out well for him. "I do have an offer from Illinois. I haven't decided anything yet. I know a lot of people want me to go there, but it's not a bad kind of pressure. I will say it helps because Jereme and D.J. are there," Johnson said.
Johnson hasn't decided when he plans to make another visit to Illinois, but he said he will visit again for sure. "I'm just getting ready for my high school team. We should be pretty good, we have a lot of good players and once we get that team chemistry down we should do pretty good I think," said Johnson.
The entire Illini coaching staff is recruiting Johnson, not just one person is assigned to him. Johnson realizes how good Illinois will be in the future, and he will keep a close eye on the program. As Whitney Young is just getting started with basketball practice, Johnson has agreed to give InsideIllini.com updates on his team and how he does individually, so stay tuned.
Johnson said, "Illinois has offered me a scholarship, I'm honored for that it's a great school."