It really didn’t take long for 2017 Ridge Point safety Ar'mani Johnson to make up his mind and decide on a college football program.
The 6-0, 170 pound safety verbally committed to SMU back in May and a little less than two months later, his commitment to the Mustangs remains as strong as ever.
“I’m still very committed to SMU,” Johnson said. “And I am looking forward to going back soon. I plan on dropping by SMU sometime this summer, but I haven’t gone to any camps or anything like that. My parents are talking about visiting SMU towards the end of summer. I’m not sure exactly when, but I’ll get there before school starts.”
The overall recruitment process has slowed down for Johnson, but that doesn’t bother him that much since he has already found (what he believes to be) his future home, in SMU.
Among the qualities that attracted him to the Hilltop, the Mustangs’ coaching staff stand out to the junior.
“I really like the community values, leadership, and commitment to the program that coach Chad Morris and coach Van Malone have. Malone is a very exciting coach. I like the way he talks to the players and demonstrates the importance of film and putting in the work on the field. When I visited for junior day, I could just tell that I would be comfortable with him and he could take me to the next level.”
Johnson has had a number of opportunities to interact with the coaching staff, watch the team practice, and has talked with player and coaches enough to have a sense of the team.
“I think they are going to surprise a lot of people,” Johnson said. “They can make a big name for themselves and set themselves up for some big things moving forward.”
Having his college destination essentially secured, he is able to focus on his goals with his Ridge Point Panthers to state.
“I want to take my team to state,” Johnson said. “We are a brand new school and every year we get better. This past year we were one game away from state. This year I just want to end my senior season on a good note and win state.”
Part of Ridge Point’s plan to win state is to start the season with as much momentum as possible. The adidas Texas 7v7 State Championship in College Station this weekend provides the perfect opportunity for Johnson and the Panthers to get a head start on the 2016 season.
Having missed out on the state 7-on-7 tourney last summer, Johnson is looking forward to competing in it this year.
“It is very important just to experience some competition and see what other schools have before we start offseason,” he said. “It really helps you know what you still need to work on.”