Johnson Discusses Commitment

Minnesota's newest commit, Shaker Heights (Ohio) safety Antonio Johnson, goes in-depth on why he chose the Golden Gophers.

How did you receive your offer from Minnesota?
"Coach [Kill] called me yesterday and that's when the offer came."

What did he say when he offered?
"He was just talking about how it was between me and two or three other safeties."

Did you tell him on the phone that you wanted to commit?
"Yep."

How did he react to that?
"He was thrilled."

What about Minnesota prompted you to commit?
"Everything pretty much just felt like a perfect fit. I just felt comfortable around the coaches. I loved the facilities, I loved the city. And the players on the team seemed like a good group of guys. Everything just fell in line."

How do think you fit into the Gophers defense?
"Since they're in the Big Ten conference, safeties are expected to help with the run because a lot of teams like to run the ball. They see me as a player who can help stop the run so that's where I fit in at."

Did you talk with Ball State to tell them your decision?
"Yes, I talked to them. They were pretty disappointed because they wanted me so overall I knew they understood my decision. I mean, it's Minnesota, it's like they know they kind of can't compete with that sometimes."

What excites you most about being a Golden Gopher?
"I'm excited for that very first game. I'm hoping I'm going to be on the field of course. That's just my favorite thing about playing football—just playing in the game. So that's what I'm probably most excited about right now."

What are your expectations as a freshman at Minnesota?
"The defensive backs coach told me he didn't want me redshirting so that means he obviously wants me to be able to play right away. I'm going to have to earn a starting job of course, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to get on the field one way or another."

What will you work on this offseason to prepare to play as a freshman?
"I'm just going to continue to work out—try and stronger. I'm going to continue to get my footwork ready and get all my speed training down and I think I'll be ready to go."

Will any team be able to sway your decision or are you fully committed to Minnesota?
"I'm 100-percent a Gopher."

Antonio Johnson Profile


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