Johnson returns from Chapel Hill

Jeramie Johnson's Atlanta (Ga.) Booker T. Washington High team lost in the second round of the state playoffs, allowing the talented cornerback to visit North Carolina during what was expected to be a huge weekend for the Tar Heels. Johnson was back home Sunday and told <i>IC.com</i> he enjoyed his visit to Chapel Hill despite the winter weather that wreaked havoc on most residents.

"It went well," Jeramie Johnson said. "I got to know the players a little. Met with Sam Aiken and Jacque Lewis. I met a lot of the guys. It was good."

However, the Tar Heels did not get a commitment from the talented cornerback.

"I don't have a leader right now. They (North Carolina) are up there. I need to take some more visits."

Johnson (6-0, 180, 4.4) recorded more than 50 solo tackles and picked off four passes in addition to racking up 500 yards in kick returns and two touchdowns. As a junior, he had nine interceptions and more than 50 tackles.

He has visits set with Georgia Tech (12-13), Mississippi State (1-10) and Duke (1-17). He is also looking at Auburn, Indiana and Georgia as possibilities.

According to Johnson, North Carolina has offered.

"They stay in contact and I am not sure when I will decide."

Until his visit, Johnson had never seen the campus, which was hit hard by the winter storm that hit the Triangle last week.

Paula Johnson, Jeramie's mother, said her son has been active in sports since he was five years old.

"I knew he would stay out of the negative stuff (because of sports)," she said. "I can't say he was a problem at any point. There are three people that are going to make this decision -- J, me and God. I am going to play a major role. We haven't been promised a rose garden or anything like that. All I want is for my child to be able to touch the field when he gets to whatever school (he picks). I am not worried about the book work."

Playing time will be a factor in where Johnson goes, and as most know by now, the Tar Heels can offer plenty of that on defense.

"It will be a factor," Paula Johnson said. "I love Coach Brewer, even though I have never met him face to face. He is just wonderful as a person and he talks to us like he knows us."

Both Johnson's admitted they knew that UNC is a basketball school but rest easier knowing that head coach John Bunting played in Kenan Stadium and loved the school he played for.

"I know he (Bunting) worked hard at it (football) and that is what Jeramie is doing," Paula Johnson said. "Academics are first and the graduation rates of the black kids' are important.

Johnson, who has played some safety in addition to corner, said he thinks he is an above average athlete.

"I'm smart and patient. I am willing to do anything to help out the team whether it is at punt returner, kick returner, wide receiver or defensive back. The defense can win games, being a corner, you are part of that and that is OK with me."


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