'Cats Now Atop Johnson's List

After seeing Clear Springs (TX) wide receiver Marcus Johnson on film and in person, Northwestern was left impressed. NU assistant Randy Bates visited with Johnson last week, and consulted with the rest of the coaches. Soon after, NU extended a scholarship. Now, the Wildcats are Johnson's favorite school.

"They're at the top," Marcus Johnson said of Northwestern. "They were the first official offer that I got. I really respect that. (Coach Bates) was very forward with me and I liked that. The first offer is the biggest. I was really happy about that. They're really high on my list."

When Coach Bates came to meet with and watch Johnson on the field, he was immediately impressed. Bates quickly called head coach Pat Fitzgerald and new receivers coach Dennis Springer, and said Johnson was a must-get. An offer soon followed on Saturday.

Once the offer came in, Johnson hopped on the internet and began to research what the Wildcats are all about. He was very impressed with Northwestern's combination of athletics and academics.

"They have great academics; they have a really good football program," Johnson said. "I know football won't last forever, so I can fall back on academics."

Johnson (6-1, 180) also has offers from Air Force, Kansas, Navy, and Rice. In addition, he's picked up interest from Arkansas, Kansas State, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech.

One thing which Northwestern offers that not many of those schools can is long-term stability at the head coach position. NU recently gave Pat Fitzgerald a 10-year contract extension, and that is a huge plus for Johnson.

"I want to go somewhere where I know while I'm bonding with the coaches, I know the coaches are still going to be around for four years," he said. "Seeing that was really reassuring."

While Johnson is very excited about his Northwestern offer, he's not set on a timetable for making a commitment. After all, making a commitment is no small thing.

"A commitment is a really big thing for me," Johnson said. "I don't want to commit and then later decommit. I want to know what I'm getting into and get really comfortable. I'm going to get to some camps. I want to say I'll wait for an official visit but I know maybe before my season starts, I might commit during the summer. I'm not too sure about it."

As a junior, Johnson finished the season with 42 catches for 753 yards and nine touchdowns. He helped Clear Springs High School to an 8-3 record in 2010

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