"I was just impressed with everything I saw and experienced on the visit," the highly-regarded quarterback prospect told BlueGoldNews.com. "I toured the school and got to hang out with Noel Devine and Jarrett Brown, and we talked a lot about the school and what it has to offer. I got to talk with the coaches and a lot of other players too, and that felt really good. Everything just made me feel good about being there, so I made up my mind to commit."
Johnson was accompanied on the visit by his father, who was also suitably impressed with the West Virginia program. It was their first visit to WVU, but they saw enough, and heard enough, to make a decision that the younger Johnson said will stick.
"I promised them that I would stay committed," he said of his decision. "I'm not planning on taking any other visits. I'm not even going to any other camps [this summer]. I'm working out for the state track meet, and then getting ready for my senior season."
Johnson made the most of his time on the WVU campus, and used it to learn as much as he could about West Virginia from all angles. He had no prior ties to West Virginia, and was a little surprised when he found out the Mountaineers were interested.
"My coach came to me one day and told me he had a letter from West Virginia and an offer from them," he explained. "I knew about them, and had been watching them since Steve Slaton was there, but hearing from them was a surprise."
WVU, as it has in many cases, built on an early relationship and offer, and stayed with Johnson until it received a commitment. Despite offers from a number of other schools, Johnson had narrowed his choices to Baylor, Michigan and West Virginia before making his choice known.
"It's kind of similar with what West Virginia did with Pat White," he said of his recruitment. "A lot of schools were recruiting him as an athlete, and that was the same with me. But he wanted to be a quarterback, and that's what I want to be too. They told me I could play quarterback from the start, and I think I fit their offense well. They want someone that can run and pass, and I can do that. I've been able to run [from the quarterback position] for a long time, and I think I do both equally well."
The numbers bear Johnson out. As a junior, he passed for 1,800 yards and 20 touchdowns, and added another 832 yards and ten scores on the ground. Film study shows a player with very good passing skills, and one that is able to adjust in the pocket and pull the ball down and run when the situation arises. Johnson is not a runner that takes advantage of weak pass defenses to put up numbers – rather, he is a quarterback with the ability to run as well. That distinction is an important one for the West Virginia offense, which wants to be able to stress defenses with multiple skills from the quarterback position.
"I think I will fit into the West Virginia offense really well," Johnson confirmed. "We run a lot of the same things [at Silsbee]. I watched Patrick White while he was there, and I think we are similar in a lot of ways. The coaches told me my skills really fit what they want to do, and that they want to be able to run it and throw it. I'm looking forward to competing as a freshman."
Johnson is a natural athlete, having earned a spot in the state track meet as a long jumper despite little practice.
"I guess I'm just naturally good at it," he said. "In basketball, I'm always trying to dunk on people, so I think I am just able to jump well."
Johnson did not play organized basketball for Silsbee, but enjoys playing recreational hoops in a playground environment.
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Johnson, who plans to major in business management, says he has already achieved a qualifying GPA.
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Jeremy Johnson Profile