Skyline WR Johnson instinctively picks A&M

February, 1, 2012
2/01/12
5:19
PM CT

DALLAS – The last thing Dallas Skyline receiver Thomas Johnson wanted to do in the recruiting process is overthink his decision.

That’s why he followed his heart, which told him to become an Aggie.

Johnson signed his letter of intent to play football for Texas A&M at his school Wednesday in front of peers, family, coaches and teachers.

[+] EnlargeThomas Johnson
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.com Dallas Skyline WR Thomas Johnson pondered Cal, Oregon and TCU hats before pulling out a Texas A&M cap and putting it on.
As has become the norm on national signing day, the event wasn’t without a little drama. Johnson had stated interest in Oregon, Cal and TCU prior to Wednesday and featured hats from those three schools in front of his seat at the signing table.

When the time came for Johnson to make public his decision, he brought forth the maroon A&M hat from under the table and pulled it down on top of his head.

“I don’t do a lot of thinking, because overthinking – you make the wrong decision,” Johnson said. “'Think long, think wrong' is what I was taught.”

Johnson said he settled on the Aggies after he returned from his recruiting trip on Jan 20. He said being around the players and coaches in College Station made him realize it was the place he needed to be. That thought process stuck with him on the drive back to Dallas and as he thought over his options the next day.

Johnson gave A&M a call Tuesday night to alert the coaching staff to expect his signature Wednesday morning.

Johnson said the addition of Kevin Sumlin to the helm of the Aggie football team only helped in nabbing the No. 33 recruit in the nation.

“If they bring the passing attack from Houston to A&M, it’s a wide receiver-friendly university,” Skyline coach Reginald Samples said. “If you look at the numbers of their wide recievers that are graduating, it’s a good opportunity for him to catch a lot of passes, and that’s what he was concerned with.”

A&M’s move to the SEC also helped in recruiting Johnson, who said he was excited to play in “the best conference in the country.”

“I’m about to go down there and do some work on these SEC guys,” Johnson said.

The runner-up in the Johnson recruiting race was hometown TCU, which was represented on the table in front of Johnson in the form of the locker room Rose Bowl champion hat.

Oregon dropped out of the picture after Johnson’s recruiting trip to the northwest due to the distance of the school from his home.

“That flight gave me a lot of time to think and you know what I said, ‘Think long, think wrong,’” Johnson said. “But everything worked out to the best.”

Johnson had previously been committed to Texas for over a year before decommitting from the Horns earlier in January.

Johnson will join his cousin De’Vante Harris of Mesquite Horn in College Station. Like Johnson, Harris decommitted from his original selection, Oklahoma, and decided to send his commitment to A&M not long after.

While Johnson said Harris never directly influenced his decision to pick A&M, Harris made it a point to recruit Johnson to the Aggies.

“Knowing I have family on campus is a great feeling,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s last-minute decision didn’t surprise his coach much because it was that instinctive nature that made him such a threat for Samples at Skyline.

“He tried to take all the extras out of it and get right to the point,” Samples said. That’s the kind of young man he is and I’ve enjoyed working with him the years he’s been here.”
Travis L. Brown covers high schools for ESPNDallas.com. He is a graduate of TCU, where he was sports editor of the student paper, The Daily Skiff.

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