Robert Johnson Arrives In Lubbock

Texas Tech QB <b>Robert Johnson</b>, recently with Reedley junior college, arrived in Lubbock today and we caught up with him to grab an update.

Asked about the recruiting process and his October 12 decision to attend Texas Tech, he said when he made the announcement "it felt great" because it removed all of the recruiting pressure. But there's a new kind of pressure on Johnson and that's expectations.

The 4-star signal caller comes into a system that has seen to back-to-back Red Raider legends at the helm. According to Johnson, that doesn't bother him at all.

"I thought B.J. (Symons) was incredible, those are some big shoes to fill," Johnson said. "I think that if I go out there and compete hard, I'll be okay though."

The nation's No. 1 JUCO QB possesses the type of speed that may add a new dimension to the Texas Tech offense but he said he doesn't like to be considered a scrambler.

"I use my legs to buy me time and let my receivers get open," he said. "If everything breaks down or I see an opening, I like to think I have the kind of speed to keep a defense honest."

That may be an understatement. As a freshman at Reedley, Johnson rushed for over 500 yards and followed it up with 200 yards this season.

The 6-1, 195-pounder said he is very excited about coming into Mike Leach's offense; an offense that he has run a variation of since playing at Americus High in Georgia.

"It's a quarterback's dream coming into an offense that throws the ball that much and has great receivers and most of the offensive line coming back," Johnson said.

Two receivers he was particularly impressed with? (JR) Nehemiah Glover and (RS-FR) Jarrett Hicks.

Moving along, Johnson said he's 36-2 over the course of the last three seasons while running the spread. [Note by Cunningham: R.J. was inactive due to an injury in one of the two defeats, but still claims responsibility.]

After leading Reedley to a NorCal championship in his freshman season, Johnson said he's "extra motivated" to get back in action since feeling he fell short in his final game at Reedley, a 27-21 loss to San Francisco in this year's NorCal Championship Game.

"I remember the exact play," he said. "It was late in the 4th, 3rd-and-10. They got the first down, ran out the clock. I felt like if we had the ball one more time we would have won it."

R.J. has won championships at every level he's played, leading teams to undefeated seasons in both high school and junior college. Now he has his sights set upon another championship.

"I want to come in here, compete for the job and hopefully lead this team to a Big 12 championship," Johnson said.

Competition for the starting QB spot next year will be stiff with the likes of (JR) Sonny Cumbie, (RS-FR) Phillip Daugherty and fellow 4-star recruit, Graham Harrell. But Johnson looks forward to the challenge.

"I love to compete. Competition can only make all of us better. And I'd rather us have a lot of great QB's than not."

Another Note: The dual-threat signal caller is one of three players from Reedley to sign with Texas Tech. Defensive end Charlie Glover and linebacker Sylvester Brinkley recently signed letters of intent. Safety Dwayne Slay and defensive tackle Marcus Campbell, also from Reedley, are expected to sign with the Red Raiders, as well.

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