In-state standout 'thrilled' by Vols offer

InsideTennessee keeps you up to date on all the latest Tennessee recruiting news. Scroll down to read about a young in-state offensive tackle who earned a Vols offer.

Brentwood Academy (Tenn.) standout Ryan Johnson admittedly grew up a "die-hard" Tennessee fan.

After all, he never really had a choice.

His entire family – parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents and cousins – all love the Vols.

Johnson may be surrounded an orange-crazed family, but he is putting his fandom aside and taking a "business approach" to his red-hot recruitment.

That said, the Class of 2016 offensive tackle was still "thrilled" and "blessed" to pick up an offer from the Vols earlier this week.

"It's huge. (Tennessee's) a great place with great tradition. It's just a huge offer," Johnson told InsideTennessee. "I'm really humbled by it. It's just such an honor."

Tennessee linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen phoned Johnson with the news on Monday after the 6-foot-5, 268-pounder spent Saturday in Knoxville for the Vols' first junior day event.

Johnson also picked up an offer from Ole Miss on Monday.

"It went great. I had a great time and it was very interesting to look around," Johnson said. "It's a great place."

Johnson, who played some tight end during his freshman season at Brentwood, said Tennessee offensive line coach Don Mahoney was "immediately" impressed with his size, strength and speed.

"It was a real honor for them to like so much about my game," Johnson told IT. "But, you know, I'm going to keep working. Now that I have the offer I know I have to keep working really hard and this is extra motivation. I'm really blessed to have that offer."

Johnson's favorite part of the trip to Knoxville was learning about the VFL Program, which is a comprehensive player support and character education program.

Johnson, who claims a 4.3 GPA, said getting a good education will be his top priority when examining schools down the road.

After a brief look into what Tennessee has to offer academically, Johnson liked what he saw.

"The VFL program stuck out to me and all the people that come back. Once you're a Vol, you always are. They take care of their people," Johnson told IT. "I know I have a chance to play college football and maybe if I'm really lucky and work hard, I can play in the NFL, but I know that chance is slim to none. I think it's important I get a good education. Tennessee takes care of you there, that's for sure."

Aside from touring the facilities and learning about academic support programs, Johnson said he enjoyed getting to spend more time with Mahoney and described their relationship as "really awesome."

"He's just a really good man and coach," Johnson told IT. "You can tell he takes care of his players and also really pushes them. He had some great talks and, yeah, I really like him."

Johnson has been receiving interest from Clemson, Mississippi State, Kentucky and others. He plans to visit "several" camps this summer but has not set any dates.


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