Ready for Another Cut

After cutting his massive scholarship list down to 16 in mid March, Tampa Jesuit wide receiver Travis Johnson is on the cusp of cutting down his list even further.

MADISON - Most high school players in the Sunshine State take full advantage of competing in spring football during the spring evaluation period. With the situation 6-4, 215-pound wide receiver Travis Johnson is in for Tampa Jesuit HS, it's pretty hard not to improve.

Not only is Johnson coached by James Harell, who played for the Florida Gators from 1975-78 and had an eight-year NFL career, him and his team has been getting helpful pointers from Heisman Trophy winning quarterback and long-time NFL veteran Vinny Testaverde.

"We have a lot of successful coaches from college and the NFL helping us, so it's basically just listening to what they have to tell us," Johnson told Badger Nation. "You can't go wrong with that."

Although Testaverde made his mark in 21 seasons under center, Johnson – a three-star receiver ranked No.96 in the country – is being coached by the former Miami Hurricanes quarterback on how to get in and out of his breaks quicker, be clean in his routes and do little things to improve his timing.

"I would be dumb not to listen to it," said Johnson. "I am trying to do all the little things right to help me out. I'm doing whatever I can to get my name out there more."

Over the past year, Johnson doesn't need to do too much more to get his name on to the marquee. After he finished his junior year with 43 receptions for 656 yards and five touchdowns, Johnson has grabbed over 40 scholarship offers and has been the focal point of a massive amount of assistant coaches dropping by his high school.

At his school's end-of-spring scrimmage Friday, Johnson – who reported making some nice catches over the middle and hauled in a touchdown working with the team's backup quarterback - said coaches from Clemson, Iowa State and West Virginia.

"My coaches said last spring, we had 80 coaches come through from all different divisions," said Johnson. "After Friday, my coach said we had close to 95 schools come through this spring. It's been nice getting all of our guys looked at."

After cutting his offer list down to a top 16 – Arkansas, Auburn, Cincinnati, Florida, Miami, Missouri, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Purdue, South Florida, USC, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin – Johnson said he plans to announce a top 10 within the next week.

"It's time for me to get closer to a decision," Johnson said. "It's looking like I am going to commit before the season."

On that list, Johnson says West Virginia and Vanderbilt will likely make the cut. He also said he is unsure if he will still consider the Buckeyes, who are the only school on his list who have yet to offer him because the Ohio State coaching staff says they are ‘still evaluating him.'

After getting the offer from Wisconsin, Johnson lauded how the Badgers utilize their ground game to set up their passing game in addition to having a nice campus. Since getting that offer, however, Johnson hasn't heard much from Wisconsin, which likely means UW won't survive his next round of cuts.

"The interest has tapered off with them," said Johnson. "I don't even know what's going on with them. The coaching staff really hasn't answered my phone calls. If they aren't picking up my phone calls, I am not going to keep beating a dead horse."

While he doesn't plan to do camps this summer, Johnson still hopes to do 7-on-7 tournaments at UCF and USF.

"When you commit to a school, you are held to a higher standard," said Johnson. "I look forward to that so I have to prove myself every single game and every single play that I am a quality player. I want to work on my intensity every single play – making myself get after it."

Badger Nation Top Stories