Two-horse race for Johnson

Aaron Johnson is a 6-6, 250-pound athlete from Fairfield (Calif.) Armijo and the recruiting process is starting to wind it's way down for him. He's taken visits to his favorites. Now all that's left is the in-home visits. And while it looks to be two teams neck and neck down the stretch, there's one more team that's looking to make a late run at Johnson. Which team is it?

"UNLV came by on Monday, Washington on Wednesday and OSU cancelled on Thursday," Johnson told Thursday night about his in-home visit schedule. "I just don't think things are going to work out with Oregon State. Monday I have Coach Price and Washington State coming. Cal-Berkeley is supposed to be coming next week too."

The Bears are looking to get in-between the Huskies and Cougars and maybe give the first team all-league tight end something to think about. "I might go to Cal on a visit," he said. Johnson was also named second team at defensive end, all-city and lineman of the year.

"I like defense," he said, even though he hadn't played on that side prior to this year. "It's where I can take all my anger out." And for those that are looking for Aaron to now concentrate on hoops? It's not going to happen. All his energy is being focused toward football. "I need to train for next year, so I'm going to hit the weight room. I might do track."

When it comes to making a college choice, sooner is looking better to Johnson. But he's not going to cut corners. "I think it's the pressure to commit early," he said, noting that the process is starting to tax him just a little bit. "All the schools are saying that I should commit early. They tell me that there are guys behind me that really want the scholarship and will commit, but you're not committing. They want me to set time limits." That's not going to happen. "I'm going to wait for Washington State to come and for California to come and then I'll sit down and go through all the stuff I wrote about each college, look it over and then decide."

Aaron is leaning heavily on one person in his family to help sort out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to recruiting. "It's my Dad," he said. "We sit down every night and talk about it. Sometimes he gets tired of it, but it's a new experience for him so he's having fun with it."

Despite Cal's apparent end-run, Johnson looks set on going to school in the Northwest next fall. The next time we talk to him, he'll know where. "I think it's a 50/50 deal with Washington and Washington State right now," he said.

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