Before the game kicked off, Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 267-pound defensive tackle from Clayton (N.C.) Cleveland, did some exploring of his own. He walked around Tar Heel Town and Kenan Stadium to get a feel for UNC's football atmosphere.
"The thing I liked most was that most of the fans knew me," Johnson said. "I really felt the appreciation."
Johnson also had brief conversations with UNC assistant coaches Dan Disch, Keith Gilmore, and Ron West.
"It was mostly ‘Hey how are you doing?'" Johnson said. "They talked a lot to my dad. But they were happy to see me there."
Johnson is in the process of establishing a top 14 schools list set to be released in late May. Originally, he was going to narrow his favorite schools list to a dozen and announce it a month sooner.
"I feel like 14 is easier," Johnson said. "I pushed it back to late May so I can give the chance for other schools to offer this spring."
Johnson, who holds over 20 offers, knows half the schools that will make the cut in late May – Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, UNC, Tennessee, and UCLA. The Bruins are the most recent program to earn a berth.
"When I was talking with Coach [Angus] McClure at UCLA, he had some really good points when I talked to him on the phone the other day," Johnson said.
Johnson has yet to visit UCLA, but is in the process of scheduling such a trip.
This weekend, Johnson may visit Virginia Tech.
Although Johnson is still filling out his top 14 list, one school has emerged as a frontrunner.
"I would say that Tennessee is my leader as of right now," Johnson said. "They're going to be the hub of the SEC Network. I could get an internship my sophomore year. I feel as if that could really help me get a foot in the industry and led to great things."
After football, Johnson is hoping to be a television sports anchor.
Despite his countless visits to UNC and the fact that his mother works on campus, Johnson's exposure to UNC's sports broadcasting department is limited.
"I saw the little studio that they had, but that's it," Johnson said.