But following his official visit to New Jersey over the weekend, Johnson said he finally considers Rutgers a player in his recruitment.
What hooked him weren't the facilities, or the football stadium, or even they way the Scarlet Knights played in the loss to West Virginia, although those were all positives.
Instead, Johnson liked the atmosphere within the program, and the closeness of the players. "I thought it was a great visit. Rutgers is a really cool school,'' the 6-foot-5, 300-pound Johnson said. "I liked the school a lot more after the visit. The two unofficial visits I took there, I never really got in touch with any of the players. I really didn't know them.''
This time, with 48 hours to check things out, Johnson got his fill of players and coaches, including a meeting with head coach Greg Schiano.
"The players really enjoyed it there,'' Johnson said. "That was their whole thing. They made that their home. Coach Schiano really, really cares about them.''
The family atmosphere caught Johnson's attention, right down to one of the acronyms (F.A.M.I.L.Y) that is a staple of the program.
"After this official visit, I really liked it,'' Johnson said. "I saw Rutgers for what it really is, a family. They have this thing, ‘Forget About Me, I Love You.' It was really tight knit, and really cool.''
Johnson arrived at his hotel Friday, but did not begin his official visit until Saturday morning. But once it commenced, it was a whirlwind.
"We went to the game and everybody was focused, so we really didn't talk to the coaches yet, then we ate a lot,'' Johnson said. "We ate all the time. It was crazy, then we took a campus tour, we went to the ESPN Zone in New York City. It was really nice. I had a really nice time.
"I learned about their alumni, and how they have a lot of alumni in high places.''
Johnson arrived home Monday, but won't have much time to rest. He is scheduled to take an official visit to Pittsburgh this weekend, but he isn't sure if he will take any others.
"I don't know of any other trips scheduled,'' Johnson said. "I would like to take a trip to Cal-Berkeley and Wake Forest, but that's in the future and I really can't tell.''
Johnson also said he is unsure when he will make his announcement.