It is planned for UCLA to make the announcement Monday.
Johnson coached with UCLA's Rick Neuheisel while Neuheisel was with the Baltimore Ravens. They had been talking over the last month, even when sources were indicating that Al Borges, the offensive coordinator with San Diego State, was in talks with Neuheisel also. In fact, sources are indicating that Johnson was offered the job a few weeks ago but turned it down, uncertain if he'd have complete control of the UCLA offense. But over the course of the last few weeks, after repeated conversations with Neuheisel, Johnson became very confident he'd be able to run the style of offense he preferred, and would have complete control.
From what we're hearing, Johnson is actually in favor of potentially utilizing the Pistol formation within a diversified offense, to take advantage of the strengths of freshman quarterback Brett Hundley. Sources have told us that Johnson, after seeing film of Hundley, is very excited about working with the current #5-ranked quarterback in the nation. Johnson was the quarterbacks coach with the Atlanta Falcons when Michael Vick was there, and reportedly Johnson sees similarities in how he could use Hundley.
Johnson was the offensive coordinator with the 49ers this last season, before losing that position when head coach Mike Singletary was fired. It was Johnson's first experience as an OC, having previously been a quarterbacks coach in the NFL for 9 seasons.
It's known that he prefers a diversified offense, one that utilizes a pro set and a spread option, but it's difficult to draw too many conclusions on the effectiveness of his work with San Francisco since the 49ers were fairly limited in terms of talent.
It is fairly well known that Johnson, who is originally from Los Angeles, is a very good recruiter, having been so when he was wide receivers and quarterbacks coach with Oregon State for three seasons in the late ‘90s. Johnson has deep ties to the Los Angeles area, particularly the inner city, and is expected be a major recruiting asset.
It's uncertain if Johnson will have completed the NCAA required tests to function as a recruiter before the upcoming big recruiting weekend that begins Friday.
We reported this earlier today on Norm Chow:
UCLA Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow is uncertain. It is possible that Chow, who has still been out on the recruiting trail in recent weeks, could be moved to another coaching role. A source indicated that it has been a bit difficult to raise the money for his contract buyout, estimated to be about $1 million. It was also thought that UCLA was trying to give Chow enough time to find a position on his own, but then, with UCLA's two big recruiting weekends approaching, that time had essentially run out.
We have since learned from Brian Swinney, the publisher of the Utah Scout.com site, that Chow has been hired as the offensive coordinator for Utah.