Johnson (6-0, 200, 4.4) will make an official visit to Ohio State Sunday and Monday. He will make the trip with his friend, Reading, Pa., linebacker James Bryant, who, like Johnson, is ranked as a national top-100 player by TheInsidersRecruiting.com.
"I was interested in them before and I just decided I wanted to come over and take a look at the campus," Johnson said.
In fact, Johnson said this trip may not be his last. He said he may also see Miami (Fla.) sometime before signing day.
According to Johnson, OSU assistant coach Joe Daniels, a Pennsylvania native, has been handling his recruitment. However, Johnson said Daniels had maintained a "hands-off" policy since the running back verbaled to Pitt.
"He had not been calling," Johnson said. "I called him back."
According to Johnson, Pittsburgh has taken this development in stride. He is being recruited there by assistant head coach Bob Junko.
"They're fine," he said.
Johnson said he and Bryant became acquainted two years ago, although they live about 150 miles apart.
"I met him when we both went down to Miami after our sophomore year for a summer camp," Johnson said.
Johnson admitted he and Bryant would like to play at the same school, but that will not be his deciding factor.
"That would be fine, but I know we can't base our decisions entirely on that," he said.
Johnson said he is intrigued by OSU's running back situation. The starting job figures to be open in 2005, whether senior Lydell Ross or potential returnee Maurice Clarett starts in 2004 or not.
"Yeah, I am aware of that," Johnson said. "I would like to come in the first year and try to contribute anywhere on the field. I do whatever it takes. But I am only 17. Sitting out a year would not hurt me. That would put me back with the right class."
After a junior season in which he was hampered with injuries, Johnson rebounded with a strong senior season with 1,276 yards on 220 rushing attempts with 21 touchdowns. His team ended the year 9-3 after reaching the playoffs. Over his high school career, Johnson had 3,670 career yards.
Johnson was offered by Pitt and Iowa before his junior season. He attended the Miami football camp before his junior season and was selected as the top running back at the camp. He missed three games as a sophomore and still ran for 1,700 yards and had a 9.7 yards per carry average.
Johnson won the WPIAL and PIAA 100-meter track championships last spring.
Following his senior year, Johnson was named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22" list as well as the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review top 25 list.
Johnson is rated as Pennsylvania's No. 10 overall prospect as well as the nation's No. 8 running back and the nation's No. 61 overall prospect by TheInsidersRecruiting.com.
Johnson holds a 2.4 GPA and scored an 870 on the SAT.