Los Angeles (Calif.) four-star athlete Greg Johnson de-committed from Arizona earlier this month after taking an official visit to Nebraska.
The trip to the Midwest opened Johnson’s eyes to not only a different brand of football, but a different way of life. Next up, he headed to South Bend (Ind.) and Notre Dame where Johnson saw snow for the first time in his life.
Jan. 13, Johnson will officially visit Arizona State. It seems as the process moves forward it is bringing Johnson closer and closer to home. Jan. 20, Johnson will officially visit USC, a school just minutes away from his home in Los Angeles.
“I want to take an official to USC because that’s always been a school that has stuck out to me,” said Johnson. “I have a good relationship with the coaches, but I don’t think I’ve spent enough time with them.
“I’ve wanted to explore and see other schools. So now it’s important to get back to USC and build that relationship back up with them again.”
Johnson and his younger brother Marcus, who committed to the Trojans just before Christmas, were on campus Thursday for an unofficial visit to USC. Of course, their trip would be loosely classified as an unofficial visit.
“Honestly, we were up there for like 10 minutes,” laughed Johnson. “I don’t meet with the coaches or anything. Most of my conversation with USC are over Twitter or get message.
“That’s why I’m looking forward to having that official visit up there. I look forward to talking with Coach Clay Helton, Coach Tee (Martin), Gavin (Morris) and Coach (Ronnie) Bradford.”
Johnson will finalize his official visit schedule with a trip to Cal Jan. 27. All of these trips will come after Johnson spends next week in San Antonio (Texas) for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
“The highlight of this past year has been winning 13 games this season,” said Johnson. “That’s the most wins I’ve ever had in a season of football.
“I think this was the best I played in my career only because I feel like I made my teammates better. I matured as a player and as a person.”
Indeed, Johnson has matured. Hawkins School blows out most of its opponents and few high school athletes can stay on the same field with the talent of Johnson and his teammates.
But winning games means Johnson has to not only play well, but inspire those around him to share his drive and dedication.
“When you are the younger dudes better, they pass it down,” said Johnson. “It rubs off in a way. That’s why we were good. The younger dudes made us better this year.”
One of those younger players was Johnson’s brother, Marcus. Ironically, Marcus committed to USC the day Johnson was traveling to the Midwest to visit Notre Dame.
“He has always talked about SC — that’s been his dream school for a while,” said Johnson. “But I didn’t know he was going to commit.
“It was surprising because when he told me, I thought he was joking. It is good to know that another person in my family is going to college and getting a free education.”
Of course, many would assume Marcus’ commitment to USC would have some impact on Greg’s decision.
“At the end of the day I have to do what’s bets for me,” said Johnson. “It might be SC it might not be. Whatever I do, it’s what’s bets for myself and he understands that.
“We talk a lot about it though. Whatever works, works.”
Johnson is categorized as the nations No. 8 athlete. Most schools have recruited him as a such, including USC.
“The coaches basically compare me to how Adoree (Jackson) plays,” said Johnson. “They feel like if I end up going there I could play both sides of the ball and return kicks.
“It all sounds good. If Adoree declares for the draft, I feel like I can step up and take that role. I can hold it down. I’ve been playing both sides of the ball my whole high school career.
“It will be new because it’s another level and everything will be faster, but I’ve played multiple positions for a long time.”