Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar inside linebacker Antwuan Johnson is one of the top players at his position in the Midwest in the 2018 cycle. Johnson boasts an impressive offer list that features scholarship extensions from the ACC, Big-10, SEC and Big-12. One of the ACC schools in pursuit is Syracuse.
Johnson visited the Orange for the first time over the weekend.
"My family drove up," he said. "We stayed in a hotel near the airport. I was there for two days, Saturday and Sunday. While on campus, I watched practice, then sat down with (head) coach (Dino) Babers for about an hour. Then went to meet with coach (Brian) Ward and (Steve) Stanard. Then we toured the campus."
While watching practice, Johnson was taking it all in. The way Syracuse operates, the tempo, the defensive system and his position group.
"Practice was very uptempo," Johnson said. "The linebackers really fly around. I like how they've set the defense up around those linebackers. I like the system those guys are running up there."
The Dunbar High standout added he feels his skill set fits the Orange defensive scheme well.
During his sit down with head coach Dino Babers, several topics were discussed. More importantly, however, it was a chance for Johnson and his family to bond with the leader of the Orange.
"Him and my family connected well," Johnson said. "We really just talked about how long he will be there and the rules of his team. Just normal conversations. He said to know he'll be able to coach me if I commit there. Coach isn't going anywhere anytime soon."
In addition to spending with time with the head coach, Johnson and his family also connected with defensive coordinator Brian Ward and new assistant Steve Stanard.
"Just bonding with him and coach Stanard," Johnson said. "Definitely will be back up to see those guys. I'm the top linebacker on their list, so I'm trying to keep myself in first place. I'll be a priority for them."
Johnson called the Syracuse facilities some of the best he has seen. He was able to check out the practice facility, the weight room, the meeting rooms and other amenities within the football program. He plans to return to Syracuse during the season for another visit.
The 6-foot-1 inside linebacker says he currently does not have a list, but he remains interested in Syracuse and they are strongly in the mix. While Johnson said he currently does not have a list, Syracuse would make his top seven or eight if he trimmed it right now.