Now, who will be the second running back?
If the Wildcats have their way, back No. 2 would be Cameron Roberson, a three-star prospect from Newbury Park, Calif. Having already nabbed Scout's 89th-ranked back in Johnson, Roberson could round out a solid batch of backs.
Roberson is ranked 48th in the nation for 2010 running backs, and is highest rated running back currently on Northwestern's wish list. Quarterbacks Robert Bolden and Sean Robinson and tight end Trent Smiley are the only higher-rated skill position players being targeted by Northwestern for 2010.
In an interview with Purple Reign, Roberson said that his list of potential schools had been reduced to three: Washington, Arizona and Northwestern. When asked if other 2010 commitments like Johnson's would affect his own decision, Roberson said he looks at the big picture.
"I think about it a little bit," said the 6-1, 215-pound Roberson. "I look at how many running backs they're going to take, and I look at how many they already have on the roster. (Northwestern) told me they would probably take two this year, maybe three."
Northwestern currently has six running backs on its roster – not including Johnson – five of whom are either freshmen or sophomores. Stephen Simmons's 178 yards last season was tops for all retuning NU backs.
But the difference between cluttered and competitive is sometimes thin. And Roberson said that he wouldn't mind fighting for playing time against prospects like Johnson.
"I like the competition," Roberson said. "If they already have three guys going there (in the 2010 class) then I probably wouldn't go there. But one guy is fine because I like competition."
Northwestern has also offered scholarships to three-star backs Adonis Smith of California, Ibraheim Campbell of Philadelphia and Marcus Murphy of Texas. One-star prospect Brent Michtam from Houston has an offer from NU too.
Last season Roberson rushed for 1,452 yards and 18 touchdowns on 226 carries. He also caught 29 passes for 279 yards and has been clocked at 4.45 in the 40. This season, he said that he is fixing to crack the 2,000-yard mark.
Roberson, who plans to take an official visit to Evanston this fall, wants to study business or pre-med – hardly the basket weaving reputation for which football players are sometime mocked. With his off-the-field ambition to pocket a big-time degree, Roberson thinks NU could be a good fit.
"I know it's a small school," he said, "but I know I would get a great education from there….(Education) is probably my main focus, one of the main reasons why I'd come to a school. The degree that I'd be getting from them – that's the main thing that sticks out (about NU). "