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December 8, 2011

Marcus Johnson still on cloud nine following his commitment

It's been a wild recruiting ride for Marcus Johnson, with the Clear Springs wide receiver finally realizing his dream last weekend when he gave the Texas Longhorns an official commitment.

Johnson is still walking on air after having made his commitment official, and on Tuesday he got a chance to discuss his upcoming Longhorn official visit with UT assistant Major Applewhite during an in-home visit.

"The visit was great. We got to sit down, talk about everything," Johnson said. "Everything was really comfortable. I felt natural, felt comfortable. think it went really well.

The 6-1, 180-pound Johnson has grown up a Texas fan for most of his life and he's dreamt of the possibility of someday playing for the Longhorns ever since he started playing football. For a while, it looked like Johnson may not get a chance to live out his dream but that all changed last week when he got a scholarship offer from the UT staff. Johnson couldn't be happier.

"It's great. It's an honor to have this opportunity. it's a blessing. Texas is my dream school growing up. To have a chance to play for them, it's a great blessing and honor," Johnson said. "I've had to work hard for it.

"My junior year, people doubted me, weren't sure about me. I worked as hard as I could the summer leading up to my senior season, did everything I had to do to get that opportunity. It's great. It's a relief now.

"I just know that this is where my heart is. I haven't felt this happy and excited about committing to a school. It goes to show how great this opportunity is. I had my dream mapped out and it played out like I wanted it to."

Johnson originally committed to Texas Tech and briefly switched to Texas A&M before receiving the Texas offer. Once the Longhorns officially entered the picture, he and his family discussed his options and Johnson made a quick decision to commit to Texas and end the recruiting process.

"There was a time, I never even thought this was possible. It's been a roller coaster," Johnson said. "I hate the fact that my recruiting went the way it did. My intentions weren't bad as far as decommitting, but when it happened (with Texas), I hadn't felt like that way at all.

"People actually say live your dreams, and that's one thing I've been able to accomplish, to see my family 's face, how happy they are, how proud they are. Texas is a program we've always loved. It's an honor to have this opportunity and I'm going to do everything I can to contribute to the school and bring everything I have to the team."

Johnson is regarded as one of the top receiver prospects in the state of Texas after turning in a stellar senior season. He finished the year with 66 receptions for 1,310 yards and 16 touchdowns. Texas had been watching Johnson's progress and with the Longhorns needing help at the receiver position, the UT staff decided to extend an offer. It was an emotional moment for Johnson.

"It was last Wednesday when I talked to coach (Mack) Brown and (Major) Applewhite. That was the emotional part - I didn't cry or anything - was when I committed on Sunday," Johnson said. "Leading up to it, this is what I've wanted to do. Even when I first did it, it hadn't hit me. You think about everything. You think about the fans, the school, Austin, coach Mack Brown himself. All of that came in to the magnitude of it. It's great. The biggest thing is, this is the first time anybody in my family has been able to achieve anything like this. To see my family so happy for me and the support they have means a lot."

Up next, Johnson will head to Austin on Friday for his official visit during the Longhorns' annual banquet weekend. He's looking forward to the opportunity to spend some time with the current team members and the other Texas commitments.

"I can't wait. I really can't," Johnson said.

A player with a terrific compliment of size, speed, route running and natural pass-catching abilities, Johnson's hopeful that he can make an early impact on the Texas offense.

"I think I can bring somebody who is polished at route running and I have good hands going to catch the ball. I have speed so I can be a downfield threat and can stretch the field," Johnson said. "I'm a player who is going to work as hard as possible to get the best out of himself, the best out of team. I 'm relentless and I'm always trying to get better."


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