Bloomington, Ind. – Orhian Johnson knows where he's going…this weekend.
The 6'4", 190-pounder from Gulfport (Fla.) Boca Ciega H.S. is headed to Ohio State for his second official visit. Johnson previously made an official to Indiana the first weekend in December, and he said he still hopes to squeeze in more trips before the Feb. 6 signing date.
"I'm trying to get as many visits as possible, so I'm sure the decision I make is the best one," said Johnson, who hasn't scheduled his other three allotted officials. "I don't want to think if I visited here or there it might have been different."
While Johnson embarks on his other trips, Indiana continues to wait. The Hoosiers have 19 verbal commitments to date and have nearly completed their 2008 recruiting class, but they desperately want Johnson as a potential future replacement for Kellen Lewis at quarterback. Like Lewis, Johnson is a dual threat quarterback who threw for 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior and is Scout.com's 31st ranked quarterback nationally.
Johnson said he continues to talk to IU Assistant Coach Billy Lynch weekly, and he's still giving serious consideration to the Indiana program.
"Indiana is a place that people might not know about, but it's a really good school," Johnson said. "The fan base is amazing, and the city is behind you, win or lose. They're also definitely on the rise. They have a lot of young players, a good coaching staff, and I'm pretty sure you'll be hearing a lot about Indiana in 2008 and the years to come."
Indiana does have its 2007 Insight Bowl berth as evidence that it is making big strides as a football program. But with big names such as Ohio State and Tennessee offering Johnson scholarships, the Hoosiers don't have nearly the reputation that some of his other suitors can boast.
Johnson admits the prestige of a program like Ohio State is a big draw, but said it won't be a deciding factor.
"I try not to focus on a name," Johnson said. "It's not so much about winning and losing. You saw it this year that schools no one would have given a chance went out and did amazing things.
"I've been saying from the beginning that I want to find a school that's like a home away from home. When I can find that, that's when I'll decide."
Johnson said he did have a good level of comfort during his IU visit, and he's built a strong relationship with his recruiting coach, Hoosier wide receivers coach Billy Lynch.
"Me and Coach Lynch have a really good relationship," Johnson said. "I've known him since my sophomore year when he was recruiting a running back from my school. He's a really good guy, his father is a class act, they've got great guys around them, and they've got a great class coming in."
One of IU's selling points has been it is recruiting Johnson to play quarterback, while Ohio State and others have targeted him as an athlete.
Johnson's preference is to play quarterback, but he said it's not a deal breaker with other program if they think he'd fit better somewhere else.
"(Playing quarterback is) important, but it's not the deciding factor," Johnson said. "I believe the coaches at the college level are smart enough to put you at the position you'll be in the NFL. I've always been a team player, I'm used to playing more than one position. Wherever they put me, I'll try to excel, soak everything in I can from the coaches, and try to be the best player at that position."
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