It is said recruiting is a marathon and not a sprint. Dallas Kimball outside linebacker Devodrick Johnson is another great example of just that.
At this time last year nobody knew who Johnson was. At this time six months ago he still wasn’t exactly a hot commodity. But tape got out, evaluations got made and Johnson found himself in the Scout 150.
And with plenty of offers. Johnson eventually committed to Texas A&M before backing off the pledge. Most, including Sooners Illustrated, assumed it was to flip to Texas. Funny thing is, though, the Longhorns still haven’t offered.
So as Texas bides its time to figure out what’s what, Oklahoma is going to make another run at Johnson. We say another because Johnson was a spring target who was even at the spring game. After some down time, the two have reconnected once again.
“I visited Norman for the spring game, but then we weren’t talking at a point,” Johnson said. “Once I committed, we didn’t really talk. I reached out to them. My mother is going down there anyway to watch my brother so I figured why not go, too?
That brother is OU redshirt freshman cornerback Antoine Stephens. Johnson remembers what it was like for his older brother, who himself sort of came from nowhere to emerge as a major OU target in January, a month before signing day 2015.
Johnson said he has a good relationship with the OU coaches and that this game is going to serve like a test drive. It’s another unofficial visit to Norman. The hope (goal?) is if things go swimmingly this weekend, Johnson will return for an official visit down the road.
No doubt one thing working in OU’s favor is Stephens. Despite not seeing the field just yet, Stephens has given solid reviews to his younger brother.
“He loves being in Norman,” Johnson said. “He has really made himself at home. Leaving here was something big to overcome, but he’s done that.
“Then again, just because it works for him doesn’t mean I’m going to be comfortable. I don’t know yet.”
Johnson hasn’t fallen out of touch with the Aggies and mentioned one guaranteed official visit will be a return trip to College Station.
For now, he’s just balancing the recruiting process with his senior season and liking the early results. No pressure to commit, focused on delivering as a senior.
“Things are going pretty good,” Johnson said. “The big thing has been the leadership. I’ve had to step up to be a leader. It’s all good, though, because it comes naturally to me. I’m comfortable being that guy.”
Johnson said he didn’t have any goals out of this trip to Norman except to see the campus again, catch up with his brother and enjoy the game. If the offer comes, great. If not, it’s not going to ruin his weekend.
He’ll take a look at things and decide from there if another trip to Norman is going to end up being necessary down the road.