Not many sophomore quarterbacks have scholarship offers from Tennessee.
Factoring in every Class of 2017 signal-caller in the nation, the grand total with grant opportunities from the Volunteers is two.
Making up half of that duo is Hunter Johnson.
The Scout four-star prospect made the trip down Saturday from Brownsburg, Indiana, to see a gameday atmosphere on Rocky Top. The Big Orange took care of Chattanooga 45-10.
"it was a good weekend," Johnson told InsideTennessee. "Me and my family really enjoyed it. It was a good atmosphere at the game, good crowd. It was really fun to… I've been wanting to come to a game for a while now. It was fun to finally get to a game. I got to talk to coach Butch Jones and coach Jake (Mike Bajakian). It was just a good experience overall."
Both Tennessee’s head coach and play-caller have headed up the pursuit of Johnson. The triggerman sat down with both before leaving Knoxville.
"They just said they are really happy because the last time I saw them was the middle of the summer,” Johnson said. “They just said they want me to keep in contact, come back. We are thinking about coming back for another game, maybe come back for an SEC game. That would be good. They just want me to keep coming back, keep calling and keep contacting them. I'm really excited about coming back for a game and coming back in the summer and seeing them again.”
Tennessee faces SEC rival Alabama on Oct. 26 and Missouri on Nov. 22. Johnson says it is likely to be one of those two weekends that he will return to Neyland Stadium.
The Volunteers got a slight leg up on the competition to land the prospect that rates by Scout as the best sophomore in Indiana by being the first school to offer him a scholarship.
“Obviously it's very, very cool,” he said of the offer. “I was really excited. I've been working all summer. It really paid off. I know coach Jones from Cincinnati, already know what he is about. I've heard so many good things about him and the whole Tennessee program. It was very, very special to get that offer from them. We've developed a really good relationship. I'm just really excited to get back and see them again."
The relationship between Johnson and Jones goes back to when Johnson's cousin Jordan Luallel played for Jones at Cincinnati after transferring from Georgia Tech.
Having known what Jones, as well as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bajakian, are like as men has a foundation set for Johnson’s recruitment. After Saturday, the right-hander also has an idea as to what the Tennessee offense looks like in person.
"I think I would fit in pretty well," the 6-foot-2 ½, 187-pounder said. "Obviously I have always been more of a Pro-Style guy. I've always liked to run when I have to, but I think the offense would fit me really well.”
Johnson’s being both a quarterback and Indianapolis Colts fan naturally makes him a fan of one of the best field generals in the history of college football.
“I’ve always been a fan of Peyton Manning," said Johnson, who met the former Vol great years ago at the Manning Passing Academy. “When the Colts had him I really watched him. I like Andrew Luck as well. Those are a couple Pro-Style guys that are big-time leaders on their team. Yeah, I look up to those guys.”
Before making a declaration later in the process, the Brownsburg High standout detailed what matters most.
“When it all comes down to it,” said Johnson, whose brother Cole Johnson is a redshirt freshman wide receiver at Northwestern, “I just want to be able to be at a school that has good academics, get the full college experience, play at a big level, have a big fan base around you, good coaches, and opportunity to play early. I just want to get the full experience."