That’s the situation in which class of 2019 quarterback Sam Johnson finds himself.
Already boasting six Division I scholarship offers and fielding interest from some of the top college football programs in the nation, Johnson looks as though he will be a college football quarterback one day – and he hasn’t even played a down of high school football.
“Sometimes, I just think like, ‘Dang, I already have six offers,’ ” the Southfield, Mich., native said after taking part in Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights camp. “I haven’t even played a varsity yet or anything. I haven’t been in a high school classroom and things like that.”
That hasn’t stopped such schools as Ohio State in showing interest in Johnson, who already stands 6-3 and boasts a smooth release. While his offers have come from Cincinnati, Akron, Ohio, Bowling Green, Temple and Miami (Ohio), Johnson is hearing from the defending national champion Buckeyes as well as Michigan and Notre Dame.
It’s heady stuff for a player who will take his first high school snaps Aug. 29 when Southfield suits up against Detroit power Cass Tech, and Johnson admits it’s hard to believe he’s already in the recruiting air in which he finds himself. At the same time, he figures college coaches must know what they’re doing.
“I don’t really feel like it’s pressure – it’s kind of pressure, but it’s not really because I don’t have offers for no reason,” he said. “I must be doing something good in order to get six offers in the eighth grade.”
When asked what coaches already see in him, Johnson said, “Basically just my leadership and my strong arm, my pocket presence. That’s what most coaches look at – how is he on the field and off the field?”
On the field, he figures to be the starter when Southfield opens the season, and if so, he received teaching he can use at Friday Night Lights. He worked as part of the quarterbacks group under the tutelage of new coach Tim Beck and also got special tips from Cardale Jones.
“It’s just the little things they tell me like when I’m dropping back, don’t take a false step,” he said. “Work the head in one-on-ones. Even though it’s just one route, still make it seem realistic. Just the little things.”
As for working with Cardale, “My cousin, Johnathan Hankins, played for Ohio State and I guess they’re real cool so I guess he told him about me. (Jones) started giving me tips and congratulating me and things, giving me props for good balls and stuff.”
Still a string bean, Johnson doesn’t have Hankins’ size, but that will come. So will more offers, which is what he’s truly after, as Johnson said he wants to hear from Big Ten powers as well as schools from the ACC and SEC before narrowing down his choices.
He talks most with Kerry Coombs, OSU’s chief Michigan recruiter, at Ohio State and said he has good feelings about the Buckeyes, who have quarterbacks pledged through 2017 in Tristen Wallace and Danny Clark.
“Honestly, I grew up liking both (OSU and Michigan),” he said. “My dad liked Michigan and just because he was my dad I had to like it too, I figured, but I like Ohio State, too. Honestly, when I was little, I liked all schools growing up.
“Ohio State is a good school. There’s great coaching here, and I like the academics. I could see myself fitting in here.”