Getting a commitment from 4-star ILB Gary Johnson of Dodge City (Kan.) Community College - Scout's No. 3 JUCO prospect in the country - is the kind of get that can help make the Texas Longhorns' 2017 recruiting class - no matter its final ranking.
If you've seen Johnson's film - the instincts, the ability to close, his hands/ability to pick off passes and, most importantly, his love of contact/shedding blocks and making high-impact/punishing tackles, you know how important this commitment is to Tom Herman and Texas - especially considering the priority the Longhorns had made inside linebacker for 2017.
(... If you haven't seen Johnson's film, where have you been?!?!? Click the link at the bottom of this post!!)
The timing of the commitment from the 6-foot-1, 225-pound Johnson is ideal for Herman and the Longhorns, who are hosting a critical official visit weekend that includes 5-star DE/OLB K'Lavon Chaisson of Galena Park North Shore, who says he's down to Texas and LSU.
Getting Johnson's verbal commitment as Chaisson was getting to town Friday afternoon was excellent timing for Herman, who, like every head coach, can use a splash commitment less than two weeks out from national signing day (Feb. 1) - and could certainly use a commitment from Chaisson as well.
I said last week if Texas could land both Johnson and Chaisson (and hang onto OLB Taquon Graham), the 2017 class would be a success in my book - along with other key commitments such as QB Sam Ehlinger, RBs Toneil Carter and Daniel Young, WR Damion Miller, ATH Montrell Estell, CBs Josh Thompson and Kobe Boyce and TEs Cade Brewer and Reese Leitao.
In a smaller, transition recruiting class, that's how big Gary Johnson's commitment was today in my book.
Texas had made inside linebacker a top priority for the 2017 class and was actively recruiting 5-star LBs Anthony Hines, Baron Browning and Dylan Moses under previous coach Charlie Strong. But Strong's dismissal threw those recruitments into doubt, and new coach Tom Herman and his staff immediately set their sights on Johnson.
Johnson took an official visit to Texas last weekend and had visits planned for Oregon and USC. But on Friday, he made the call for Texas and now will provide much-needed experience, competition and depth at inside linebacker in Todd Orlando's 3-4 defense along with Malik Jefferson, Anthony Wheeler, Jeff McCulloch and Erick Fowler.
If you haven't already, do yourself a favor and watch Johnson's film included in the link below ...