"I wanted to prove to them that I'm one of the best, that I can compete with those guys. I did that too. They were impressed with me back then. I was really high on Miami at that time."
However, then Johnson didn't get the same attention from UM that he got from other programs during the spring when coaches were able to start recruiting the rising seniors.
"I really never heard much else from (Miami)," he said. "You can only do so much. I was really high on them but they never really got serious with me and that's cool because I'm sure they (were) recruiting the other two or three best running backs in the country."
Indeed they were. The UM coaches made local products Charlie Jones and Bobby Washington major priorities for this year's recruiting class. Then in the fall they went into Louisiana and landed Derron Thomas, just months after Johnson had made a commitment to the University of Pittsburgh.
After rushing for 1,280 yards and 23 touchdowns, Johnson then started re-thinking his options. He has since opened his recruitment back up.
"I have no idea why," he said. "But I just want to see what else is out there in case there's a better situation somewhere. I haven't found it yet but you never know. I'm going to be taking some visits later this month to find all that out. I'm going to Ohio State this weekend and then I'm gonna try to visit Miami and Florida later in the month."
Johnson contacted those schools about his renewed interest and found out that the Canes seemed more intereded this time around.
"I approached them," he said. "Miami seemed a lot more interested. Larry Coker actually came up here to see me and Devon Lyons. He came up here by himself and basically was just seeing what's up. I might visit there later this month, I just have to see about that."
Johnson, 6-0 and 200 pounds and the returning state champion in the 100m event in track (10.61 at states as a junior), is aware of the three other running back commitments at UM.
"They're a little thin to start with so they needed to load up," he said. "I think I'm as good as any running back it the country so it doesn't matter about any other commitments. I ain't worried about it. I can play DB too. I wouldn't be in a bad situation. Miami's just a great school. They put a lot of guys into the NFL and I'd be willing to do whatever it took. Nobody is going to outwork me."
Johnson said he will take a few more visits before he's ready to announce his final choice next month.
"I'll announce it on the 4th," he said. "I still like Pittsburgh a lot but I gotta see what else is out there in case I like something even more."
Johnson is a full academic qualifier.
Coker Meets With Johnson
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