Florida QB Johnson Talks about IU Official

Dual-threat quarterback Orhian Johnson missed out on one thing he'd been looking forward to with his IU official visit, but everything else proved to be a big hit for one of IU's most coveted recruits. Scout.com's 49th-ranked quarterback talks about his official...

Bloomington, Ind. – Truth be told, Orhian Johnson came away from his IU official visit a little disappointed.

The 6-4, 185-pound quarterback from Gulfport (Fla.) Boca Ciega H.S. was one of 14 players in town over the weekend for an official visit. One of the highlights of the weekend was the opportunity to sit courtside for Indiana's men's basketball game against Kentucky, something Johnson had been looking forward to for some time.

But the game didn't turn out to be everything Johnson had hoped.

"I wanted to see Eric Gordon play," said Johnson.

Unfortunately for Johnson and the other on-lookers, IU's highly-touted freshman missed the game to nurse a hip/back injury. But in his absence the Hoosiers still emerged with a 19-point victory in front of 17,000-plus fans, and that result and atmosphere made an impression on Johnson.

"I was glad to see Indiana get the W over Kentucky," Johnson said. "The fan support was really good – they seem to be strong with their players and their sports there. You could see that just walking around campus."

While Johnson was disappointed to miss out on a Gordon, that was one of the few drawbacks of his IU visit. He was hosted by fellow Floridian Donnell Jones, whom he competed against in both football and track at the prep level. He also spent time with the likes of Ian Reeves, Dennis Ziegler, James Hardy and Roger Saffold, all of whom made an impression on one of IU's most coveted recruits.

"They were all great guys," Johnson said of IU's players. "They all want me to come, but they weren't putting pressure on me. They're like, it's up to me. They remind me of my boys back home. That was really good."

Johnson also talked with Kellen Lewis, the IU quarterback who had very similar skills to those Johnson possesses at the prep level. Like Johnson, Lewis received recruiting interest from some high-profile programs as an athlete, but wound up holding out for the opportunity to play quarterback. IU gave him that chance, and he's now in the process of re-writing the school's record book.

"Kellen said to make sure I follow my heart with where I want to go," said Johnson, who threw for 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior and it Scout's 49th-ranked quarterback nationally. "He said Indiana is a really good place. It's a long way from home, but the people are really good here."

In addition to the players, Johnson also was impressed with the Hoosier coaching staff. He was already very familiar with his recruiting coach - IU wide receivers coach Billy Lynch – as well as Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada. But during his weekend visit he was able to sit down with Head Coach Bill Lynch, and he made an impression as well.

"I got to spend a good amount of time with Coach Lynch, and he's a great guy, a class act," Johnson said. "We joked around and laughed. He's a great guy and told me I fit the offense, but it wasn't just about football. He was talking about my well being, getting my degree if I come up there. That was great."

Johnson also said he didn't feel pressured to make a decision. He said he is still hoping to take some more visits and doesn't anticipate making a college decision until late January, but that didn't bother the Hoosier staff.

"They haven't been pushing me at all," Johnson said. "They said that whenever I'm ready to pull the trigger and be a Hoosiers, they'll be waiting for me."

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