OU commit in focus: Will Johnson

OU picked up two commitments for the 2015 class with the first being juco cornerback Will Johnson.

The story of junior college cornerback Will Johnson has been a fun one to tell. But starting next month, nobody is going to care about his story of going from Maryland to New York to now Norman and will only care about his production.

Committing to Oklahoma isn’t about overcoming adversity and obstacles, it’s about helping the Sooners contend and win for championships. And if Johnson cannot do that, his story of perseverance won’t mean much to a lot of OU fans.

Johnson was a huge unknown two weeks ago before OU coaches Mike Stoops and Bobby Jack Wright got a chance to view his film. A week later, and he was committed to the Sooners.

There’s no question OU is having major issues in the secondary. Whether it’s the schemes or the talent or the combination of both, it just didn’t gel this season the way many had hoped.

Johnson isn’t worried about the scheme because he has been quick to say his best attribute as a football player is his intelligence. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, he fits the mold of what Mike Stoops likes in his defensive backs.

Coming out of high school, Johnson’s biggest issue was academics. He has cleaned that up by working as hard in the classroom as he has in the film room. For Johnson, football is a game of technique.

There’s no doubt OU’s defensive system can be tough to understand, even the best of them who have come through Norman have had their down moments. Getting Johnson in next month is going to be huge for his development.

It feels as though OU is pretty much done looking at juco prospects who cannot be mid-year enrollees. The Sooners have been burned a couple of times by kids expected to show up in January and then showing up in June, July or even August.

There’s no way to quantify just how much is lost by not being on campus those extra six months and going through spring workouts.

Johnson will have three years of eligibility left when he arrives at OU. It feels like the Sooners have the cornerback spot locked up with Zack Sanchez and Jordan Thomas going forward, but obviously things can change.

OU won’t rest with just Johnson and Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson cornerback P.J. Mbanasor. The Sooners need at least one more quality cornerback. It could happen this week or could happen closer to signing day.

As is, Johnson’s maturity is a huge reason his commitment adds value as of now. He’s not going to waste this second chance. What he does after that is something we’ll all find out together.


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