"I'm heading up next Sunday," Marcus Johnson said. "It's still really surreal, and it hasn't hit me yet, that I'll be leaving my friends. I graduate June 1, and June 3 I'll be there. But I'm ready. I'm excited."For Johnson, moving into Austin is the conclusion of what was a pretty hectic recruiting process. Johnson committed to Texas Tech the summer before his senior year, then committed to Texas A&M during his senior year before switching to Texas shortly after that.
"Texas has always been my dream school. I always loved Texas growing up. A lot of people don't necessarily realize how hectic the recruiting process can be. I really didn't know what to expect, and nothing was guaranteed. So we decided to approach it like a business. What was best for me, and if something opened up that was better, I would have to take a look at it.
"I wanted to be able to commit to a school and stick with it," Johnson said. "… But thank God that Texas came through for me."
Johnson said his stock was buoyed by a huge senior year that saw him exceed everyone's expectations. He was solid as a junior, catching 42 passes for 753 yards and nine touchdowns. But he exploded in his final year on campus, catching 64 balls for 1,273 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging almost 20 yards per catch. And he added in another 387 rushing yards on just 30 carries (12.9 per rush), showing ability in another phase of the game. That led to a big push in offers, like his offers from Texas and A&M.
"My junior year, people didn't really get a definitive look at me, and didn't really know what I was about," Johnson said. "People just weren't quite sure. I remember going through the process and people wanted me to come to their camp, then when I went to their camp, the coaches would say 'we want to get to know you over your senior year.' Thank God I stayed healthy, and we had a great run. I played a great season. And my senior season opened up those offers.
"It was really a reward for all my hard work," Johnson said. "Not a lot of people realized that every year, I had gotten so much better. I'm still a really young guy. I might be one of the youngest guys in our recruiting class. I don't turn 18 until August. So I actually could have been a junior and played another year. But I think the way that I played as a senior gave people closure. I did the things they wanted me to do."
So now that Johnson is set to arrive in a week, what are the Longhorns getting in the 6-foot-2, 190-pound receiver?
"I personally think Texas is getting a hard worker and somebody who knows how to play the game," Johnson said. "I love football, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to be the best. From a wide receiver standpoint, they're getting somebody who is a good route-runner with speed. I'm always willing to learn something new, and I just feel like I'm relentless. I go straight to work and approach it like a business.
"I want to play this year," Johnson said. "That's why I'm working as hard as I'm working now. I'm a good route-runner, I have good hands and I'm a strong kid. And I'm only going to get better."