"My mom has a relationship with one of the coaches, [Troy Douglas],"he said. "She kind of grew up with him. So she wanted us to go up there and check it out and see how the place is."
Officially visiting this weekend also played perfectly into Johnson's schedule. White plays its regular season finale on Wednesday and is out of school Thursday and Friday.
"I come up [to UNC] Friday," Johnson said. "I just want to get to know the coaches more and meet some of the players. I want to see the campus, too."
Douglas, as well as UNC's offensive line coach Sam Pittman, has been recruiting Johnson since April.
"[Douglas and Pittman] came down in the spring and Coach Douglas was down a few weeks ago," Johnson said. "Besides that, I talk to them a lot.
"We just talk recruiting. Mostly they've been trying to get me to come up for a visit. They said once I come up there they think I'll love it."
UNC has received verbal commitments from four offensive line prospects. According to Johnson's conversations with the coaching staff, the Tar Heels would like to add "at least one" more to the 2011 class.
UNC projects Johnson, who has received approximately 20 scholarship offers, as an offensive guard or center, which is what most schools are recruiting him for. The outliers include Rutgers, which likes him at offensive tackle, and Florida Atlantic, which likes him at defensive tackle.
"[The position] doesn't really matter to me," Johnson said. "I like playing football."
Johnson began his career at White at offensive tackle, earning a starting spot his sophomore season. He was moved to offensive guard and also became a starter at defensive tackle this season.
Heading into his first official visit, Johnson doesn't claim any favorite schools.
"After I take my [official] visits [I'll make a verbal commitment]," Johnson said. "I'm going to try to take at least three or four visits."
Johnson doesn't have any other official trips scheduled. But he has been discussing dates with Georgia Tech, Louisville, and Rutgers.
Johnson did, though, camp at Rutgers this past summer, and attended the South Carolina-Alabama game in Columbia and Florida-Kentucky game in Gainesville.
A former teammate of Johnson's, Casey Turner, verbally committed to UNC only to flip his decision to Rutgers on National Signing Day 2010.
"[Turner] has called me a few times trying to get me to come up there," Johnson said. "But I don't know [if he'll affect my collegiate decision]. We talk a lot."