Johnson in No Hurry To Commit

Now that he has his first offer in hand, Fort Bend Hightower defensive end Jelani Johnson is finally seeing some movement in his recruitment. With spring ball now finished, Johnson has a few colleges in mind where he wants to show his skills during football camps. So where does Rice fall into his summer plans? OwlDigest has the update.

After pulling in his first offer this off-season, Fort Bend (TX) Hightower defensive end Jelani Johnson is feeling confident in his recruitment at the moment. Meaning, that he feels that his first offer is just the beginning and feels more are coming.

"It's Rice University (offer), but I think SMU is close to offering also. Ohio State is also recruiting me pretty hard. I say SMU because they seem to be the most interested next to Rice so that is why I feel they may be next to offer."

And though Johnson is not quick to name a favorite, it seems that the in-town program has built up quite a connection with him over time.

"My recruiting coach is coach (Craig) Naivar and he and I communicate quite a bit," Johnson said. "I just talked with him this week. At first (when first stated talking) it was just mutual between scouts to a player, but it has really grown into a friendship. Because we talk all of the time via email and I have gotten to know him and he has gotten to know me so it has been good."

Now the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Johnson looks to take his time with the process and check out all of his options. But with Rice being the first, Johnson does have a somewhat closer connection with that program.

"I wouldn't say that Rice is a favorite, but it's higher on my list than some of the other schools," Johnson said. "I like a lot the schools that are recruiting me I just don't have a specific favorite. There have been a lot of schools come by this spring. Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Rice, Oklahoma State, SMU, Colorado, and Utah (most recently)."

With that said, Johnson has already put together a summer schedule of schools he plans to visits, whether unofficial or camps.

Of course, he also plans to log in heavy hours at his high school weight room as well.

"I'm going to three camps this summer: Rice, SMU and Oklahoma State," Johnson said. "Then, I plan to participate in the summer strength and conditioning program here at Hightower."

One of the main factors that Johnson pointed out about his game play is hustle. Not only does he recognize this, but it's obvious that Division I coaches have as well.

"I think the main thing they see is hustle and work ethic," Johnson said. "That is what all of the coaches are telling me that I have good hustle and hard work in me. And I think that is the main thing coaches look for is hustle, heart, and work ethic."

But now that spring ball is over, look for Johnson to begin doing his own evaluations of colleges. And as far as an early commitment, don't count on it.

"I am probably going to commit at the end of next of next season," Johnson said. "We still have a long way to get through summer and next season. You know that a lot can happen. I'm just going to take my time with it. I feel it (recruiting) has been a real great experience seeing that this is my first time. I've really enjoyed it and it's been real fun."

Johnson finished the season with over 30 tackles and six sacks.


Owl Digest Top Stories