Trip '6 or 7' to Rocky Top for Hunter Johnson

Hunter Johnson rates by some to be the top junior quarterback in the nation. Tennessee coaches have been all over the Scout four-star prospect for over a year already. Here's more from the Indiana native.

Hunter Johnson estimates the total at “6 or 7,” including two this summer.

The number indicating the number of times the Scout No. 3 quarterback in the 2017 class made the ride down with family from Indiana to Tennessee’s campus.

More interstate miles are on their way.

“We’ll get to a game sometime this season,” the signal-caller told InsideTennessee. “Just kind of depends on our schedule and when we can get here.”

Why? The coaching staff in Knoxville issued the Brownsburg High School standout his first scholarship offer and the 6-foot-2, 197-pounder hasn’t forgotten that.

The last time Johnson and his parents were on Rocky Top was for July’s Orange Carpet Day event.

“It was good to be around some other recruits and be around all of the coaches,” said Johnson, who threw for 1,434 yards in 2014. “It was a lot of fun just kind of hanging out with the guys. It wasn’t really like more of a business trip like some recruiting days can be. It was more trying to get a feel for the school and the coaches and build a good relationship. So, it was fun.

“Just all the recruits here overall, there’s just a good…there’s a good gel between all these guys. It’s just a good feeling; it feels like family.”

“It’s definitely at the top,” Johnson said of Tennessee.

The No. 1 junior quarterback in the Midwest Region reversed field some and tempered his enthusiasm to say the Big Orange is in his “top group” but his affinity for Tennessee is apparent.

Johnson spent some time with coaches prior to kickoff of the Tennessee home games versus Chattanooga and Missouri at Neyland Stadium last fall. However, Mike Bajakian was the Vols offensive coordinator then. Mike DeBord is the playcaller and quarterbacks coach now.

“It’s really good,” Johnson said of his relationship with Tennessee’s first year assistant coach. “We talk every week.

“I think we’ve developed a really good relationship, and he’s been back and forth at the school (Brownsburg) too this past school year. I think we’ve built a good relationship.”

Johnson, whose Brownsburg High is situated 20 miles from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, is a fan of Peyton Manning. The most valuable player at the Best of the Midwest Combine back in mid-February ranks as the No. 28 prospect in the Scout 300.

Brownsburg fell in the first round of the 2014 IHSAA Class 6A state playoffs to Avon 41-10.

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