Johnson plans to officially visit MSU, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Alabama and Auburn and noted that the Rebels may soon be his choice.
"I would have to say that Ole Miss is leading right now," said Johnson. "Mainly because they are one of the only schools still showing a lot of interest in me. I still have a lot of interest in Mississippi State and they have been recruiting me for a long time. In fact, they were one of my first offers. But I may commit to Ole Miss pretty soon, and they are the one school that's still calling me."
Another out-of-state priority is Kisan Flakes of Lovejoy High School in Lovejoy, Ga. The all-state quarterback has been offered by as many as seven universities, including the Bulldogs.
The 6-1 and 190-pound Flakes also has offers from N.C. State, South Carolina, West Virginia, Louisville along with early interest from Maryland and Michigan.
"Well, I was going to wait until after the season to start looking at all the offers," said Flakes. "But yesterday, we had a meeting with my family and coaches are started to key in on recruiting. But I will still wait until the season is over to decide."
The Bulldogs do have one slight edge with Flakes, even though his current Top 3 includes the Wolfpack, Florida and South Carolina. Current MSU graduate assistant coach Paul Gonnella served as an assistant coach at Lovejoy HS last season.
"I have already visited the Mississippi State camp this summer but my first official visit will be December 6th at N.C. State," said Flakes. "About six or so of us are planning to visit then. And I think Mississippi State wanted me to visit on the 10th, as well as Cincinnati. I am looking for a program with the same offensive philosophy that we have at Lovejoy, with a lot of spread formations.
"Mississippi State has shown a lot of interest in me, and I know Coach G will be there for one more year at least. So that could make me look in that direction."
Back to the Magnolia State, the Bulldogs do however seem to be in the strong running for a couple of standouts, including highly-touted receiver Anthony Mitchell from Oxford High School.
Mitchell has offers from LSU and MSU with plans to visit the MSU/Ole Miss Thanksgiving contest along with Marshall and LSU.
"I really don't want to go to far from home," said Mitchell. "I would have to say that LSU is a slight leader with Mississippi State right behind them. And Marshall is showing a lot of interest and would be my third choice right now.
"I went to the MSU camp this summer and had a chance to talk to a lot of coaches. I enjoyed the atmosphere and my time talking with those coaches."
Mitchell also noted of the young talent in Starkville, a group that he wouldn't mind playing with in the future.
"They (MSU) are not that far from being a good team," noted Mitchell. "I think they will be pretty good in a couple of years. When those young guys start to mature, then I think they will be just fine. And if I decide to go there, that will be about the same time that I would be in the mix."
Senatobia running back/receiver Terrance Jackson also has the Bulldogs atop of his short list, noting that his decision may be between the two in-state SEC universities.
"Mississippi State is showing me the most interest right now but I still don't have any offers," said Jackson. "But I really want to see who the new coach will be and all those changes first of all. I would have to say that Mississippi State is my top choice but the other option would be Ole Miss."
"With State, I like the type of offense they run and they want me to play receiver," said Jackson. "And that's the position I want to play in college, too. With my size and all, I don't want to play running back in that league. But I know that I will wait to commit later on and just see what all options are available to me at that particular time."
Paul Jones is a recruiting correspondent for Gene's Page. Paul, also a sports writer for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch, can be reached by email at email@example.com