DJ Still Favoring Penn State?

Donnie Johnson of Cincinnati, Ohio took an official visit this past weekend to Illinois. Have the Fighting Illini pulled even with the Nittany Lions as a result of his visit?

Name: Donnie Johnson
Position: RB / S / CB
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 195 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.39 (at school), 4.5 (Michigan Nike Camp)
School: North College Hills High School, Cincinnati, Ohio

"It went all right," Donnie said of his official visit to Illinois.  "It wasn't great, it was all right.  [The PSU visit] was better than the Illinois visit.

"The first night, we went out to eat, met some players and went out to a little club.  The second night, it was pretty much the same thing.  The last day I was there, we went over to Coach Turner's house, had breakfast and talked to all of the coaches.  That's about it."

Carey Davis was Donnie's host.

"He's a sophomore fullback  He's cool, we got along real well.

"[Illinois] said I can come in and be a starter next year.  They have Rocky Harvey leaving.  They have Antoineo Harris, but if he doesn't graduate, he will not be able to come back next year.  And, they have 2 freshman running backs."

Both of Donnie's parents accompanied him on his visit.

"They liked the distance and the coaches and the town and all that."

According to Donnie, Illinois is 3.5 hours from Donnie's home.  PSU is 7.5 hours away.  However, when asked if distance would be a determining factor in Donnie's decision making process, Donnie definitively said, "No."

Is distance to a prospective school  important to his family?

"My father said that he doesn't really care where I go, he's still going to make it out to come see me."

Donnie will probably not take any more official visits.

"I have Maryland set up for the 5th, but I might not be able to make that one.  I'll be announcing either after Christmas, or on the 1st."

Is Penn State still his favorite?

"No comment.  It's going to be a surprise.  For some people it will, for some people it won't."

Penn State made sure to visit Donnie just before his official visit to Illinois.

"Jay Paterno came to my school last week before I went to Illinois.  He went over the offense."

On what criteria will Donnie be making his decision?

"It's just where I will feel most comfortable.  I'm not worried too much about academics, they're both Big 10 schools, and they both have good programs.  And playing time, that's not too big.  I just want the best back to be starting.  I think I'm the best back wherever I go, so I'm not too worried about that.  It'll just be wherever I'm most comfortable around the players and the coaching staff, where I can call home for the next 4 years."

Is his decision a tough one?

"No, it's not too tough now."

Is it very important to Donnie that he and teammate Jerrmel Turnage go to the same school?

"Not really, I just want to see him in a good school, but it's not too important.  It would be great, but it's not too big."

Donnie said that Penn State seems to be recruiting him the hardest.

Donnie's father went with him during his official visit to Penn State on September 1.  His mother has not yet met Coach Joe Paterno.

"Joe Paterno is supposed to be coming in January."

Donnie is still waiting for the results of his SAT and ACT tests.

"The SAT went well.  The ACT is a little bit harder.  We just have to wait and see what the score is."

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