A year ago, Clayton Johnston was a skinny, 255-pound offensive tackle looking to get noticed at the UCLA lineman camp. Now, a year later, the three-star has gained 30 pounds and earned several offers from throughout the Pac-12. Now 6-5.5 and probably 280, on Sunday at the Primetime Polynesian Kumite Camp, he was arguably the top performer, showing a nice ability to move laterally and good bend.
He told us after the camp that a huge part of his development has been thanks to the physical transformation he's undergone.
"I grew about an inch and gained 20 or 30 pounds since last year," Johnston said. "I think it's helped me a lot with run-blocking and strength, and I'm still moving well and have maintained my agility."
With camps now open to college coaches this month, Johnston was not without an audience. Six USC coaches, several Utah coaches, and a variety of other coaches from throughout the Pac-12 and other leagues were in attendance (Per NCAA rules, programs have a 15-day window to attend summer camps, and UCLA has yet to start its 15-day window). Johnston is hoping that he opened some eyes.
"I think I did what I could, which is show them all how I play football," Johnston said. "I think I had a really good day."
The three-star currently lists California, Arizona State, Wake Forest, and Oregon State as his tentative top four, but he's clear to say that his list is subject to change as more schools jump on board.
"I'm keeping everything open," Johnston said. "I'm just trying to get out to see schools this summer and fall, and see where I fit best, and where I get offered."
Two schools that he's especially hoping to impress this summer are UCLA and USC. Johnston will camp with the Trojans in June at the Rising Stars Camp, but is also keeping in close contact with UCLA.
"I'm talking with Coach Drevno at USC, and he told me if I do well at the camp, I could get an offer," Johnston said. "With UCLA, Kennedy Polamalu, he's friends with my dad, and he comes out to school, so I've talked to him a lot."
Johnston said that those two schools, along with Oregon and Michigan, are "the top schools I'm still hoping for offers from."
On the visit itinerary, Johnson has already hit much of the West Coast, and has a cross-country trip planned for the summer.
"I've been to Cal, Arizona State, UCLA, and USC," Johnston said. "I'll go to Wake Forest in July. I've never been out to the East Coast so that will be cool."
As for the key factors that will play a role for him in making a decision, Johnston cited his comfort level with the coaches and the environment. Johnston said he wants to make his decision before Signing Day, but likely in January at some point after he finishes his official visits.
"I'm going to take one official during the season on my bye week," Johnston said. "I'll take the rest after the season."
Johnston Hoping for UCLA Offer
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