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May 20, 2012
Due to injury and a transfer from San Joaquin Memorial High School to Central High School, Fresno (Calif.) cornerback Johnny Johnson watched more football than he played as a junior.
That helps explain why the four-star prospect has just 14 scholarship offers to date.
"I've been flying under the radar a little bit because I haven't been as active as last year," said Johnson. "A lot of schools have still been by to see me. Right now, I have offers from the entire Pac-12 except Oregon, plus I have offers from Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Houston.
Johnson's latest scholarship offers came from Arizona and Arizona State. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound corner will begin taking unofficial visits in June. And while USC and Oregon were his frontrunners early in the recruiting process, Johnson has backpedaled on naming favorite schools.
"Nah, I'll narrow it down after the summer," said Johnson. "I'll visit the four Cali schools: Cal, Stanford, USC and UCLA. I'm just going to visit UCLA and Stanford and then camp at USC and Cal.
"I need to see the defensive backs coach at those camps. I want to see their style of teaching. I might participate at the camps, too, but I'm not sure."
Johnson has yet to meet new USC defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders, but the two have talked on the phone.
"I spoke to him once, and he has a strong personality," said Johnson. "He believes in what he preaches. I know he has ability as a coach because he has had several first-round picks."
According to Johnson, UCLA and USC are recruiting him the hardest out of the 14 schools that have offered him scholarships. While USC already has a commitment from four-star cornerback Chris Hawkins, no one will stop Johnson from considering each of his scholarships offers.
"No, man, that won't stop me from looking at USC," said Johnson. "There are two sides of the field, and I feel like I'm going to get one, so the other is up from grabs.
"On a positive note, I have seen Hawkins on tape and he is a fundamentally sound corner. He committed to USC because that's his dream school. I don't really agree with that.
"I'm going to go where I find the best fit. No package deals or anything. I've got to do me."
"I played in two games, but other than that, I just trained a lot and focused on school," said Johnson. "I am hungry and can't wait to get back out there.
"It's been a while since I locked it up, and people have been forgetting about me. I'll tell you one thing, being away from football taught me football doesn't last forever. You have to have a plan."
Part of that plan after football is why USC is a school Johnson is still considering.
"I like the combination of football and academics at USC," said Johnson. "They are strong in both areas, and there's so much tradition. It's USC. The school has a lot of tradition and connections."
USCFootball.com will continue to bring you the latest on Johnny Johnson throughout the offseason.