Tyreke Johnson (Photo by Chad Simmons)

Elite 2018 DB Tyreke Johnson Maintains Leader

Nov. 30 -- Tyreke Johnson may be a five-star prospect, but he is humble, he is mature, and he is handling success with grace. His offer list is long, but he has favorites. He names those, talks about his plan to commit and more...

In seventh grade, Tyreke Johnson got some snaps on the high school Varsity team at Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian.

The coaching staff there knew they had a special talent.  The offers started to roll in for Johnson in eighth grade.  

The 6-foot-2, 185 pound defensive back is now a junior.  He is a five star, he is the No. 2 cornerback in the country and he is Scout's No. 8 prospect in the 2018 class.

He may be in the Sunshine State now, but at this time in 2018, he plans to be calling somewhere else home.

"I see myself leaving Florida to play college football," said Johnson.  "I was going to commit to Florida State to play with my brother (DeAndre Johnson), but he is not there anymore, and I do not plan to stay in Florida.  I am going to look outside the state, see where I want to go, and go find my new home."

Right now, he has a top school all the way across the country, then three others right behind.

"UCLA is No. 1 for me right now, then GeorgiaUSC and Alabama are tied at No. 2.  After those schools, it is just everyone else right now.

"I am doing my homework on a lot of different schools.  I am looking into things, reading about the schools and those are standing out to me right now."

Johnson knows that when he heads off to the university of his choice, the lofty ranking he has now won't carry too much weight.  He will have to be ready to work.

"Once you get to college, stars do not mean anything," said Johnson.  "You start on the bottom regardless of what stars you had in the rankings coming out of high school.  My brother had all these offers coming out and he has taught me to stay humble, to work hard, and he has showed me how to handle success.  

"Coaches are going to downgrade you when you come in as a top recruit, they are going to throw those stars away, and when you get to college, you have to be ready to work.  I will be ready for that.  I will be focused, I will go into college very humble, and I will be ready to compete the first day I get there."

Playing right away is something the top 10 junior is looking for in a school.  Johnson wants to earn a degree that will help him after football, but being someone needed on the field will really carry a lot of weight in his decision.

He knows he has a very big decision ahead of him.

"The recruiting process is very stressful.  You have to look beyond what all the coaches and everyone is telling you because they are just trying to get you their school.  You have to do your own research, you have to find the school that is truly for you, and I want to be a part of a school that needs me — not the ones that just want me.

"If a school needs me, then I will play.  They will do all they can to get me prepared.  That is what I want.  I feel I will be most important to a school that truly needs me on their team.

"I am looking for the place I can excel academically and in football, so once I find that place, that school and that environment, I will commit and be loyal to them."

Like many playing high school football right now, the goal for Johnson is to get paid to play the game with the best on Sundays.  When making his college choice, he is looking for development, not so much who is winning titles.

"Wins and losses does not mean anything to me," said Johnson.  "There are schools like Miami who has not been winning a lot of games lately, but they have always sent a lot of players to the NFL.  What is going to win me over is academics, how they can coach me, the chance to play right away and it will be big if I have a chance to play somewhere with my brother.

"I want to play in the NFL, so I am looking at who I think can get me there too.  That is very important to me."

Johnson does not plan on making a decision any time soon.  He has been visiting schools when time permits since his middle school days.  He is going to continue to do and he does not see the recruiting process coming to an end any time soon.

"I am going to ride the recruiting process out until the end.  I will not commit early.  My brother committed to one school, one time, and that is who I am too.  He was loyal to Florida State, he only visited his school, and I plan to be that guy too.

"When I commit to a school, I will be done.  It would take something very big for me to change my mind.  Not even a coaching change would change my mind after I commit.  Once I find the school that I want to go to, and after I commit, I will be done with the recruiting process.

"I will pick a school I can succeed at academically and in football, but it won't be until my senior year that I find out who that will be."


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