Commentary

Daje Johnson commits to Texas

Updated: January 28, 2012, 6:11 PM ET
By William Wilkerson | HornsNation

AUSTIN, Texas - - ESPNU 150 athlete Daje Johnson (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) has finally committed to the Longhorns.

Johnson, the No. 14 athlete and No. 141 player overall, was offered a scholarship by Texas during his official visit on Saturday and accepted on the spot. In doing so, he became the 25th member of its 2012 class and the 18th with at least a four-star grade.

There appeared to at least be a chance of that happening when he scheduled his official visit to Austin last week. Johnson has always liked the Longhorns and even made the initial effort to see if they had any interest in him by asking Texas coach Mack Brown via text early during the 2011 season.

Then there didn't seem to be much a shot at all after he canceled his visit on Monday.

At that time, Johnson said that Texas had simply waited too long to get in the race and he had every intention on sticking with his commitment to TCU, where he had been committed since March 26.

But Texas stayed persistent. On Tuesday, Johnson received a phone call from Longhorns co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite and a Facebook message from Mack Brown. That was enough to get Johnson to reschedule his visit for this weekend.

Texas followed that with visits to his school and home on Thursday when Johnson told HornsNation he was "90 percent" sure he'd switch his TCU pledge to Texas.

When Brown asked Johnson why he was hanging on to that 10 percent, Johnson said that he wanted to see what the visit was like before he completely made up his mind. Apparently the visit lived up to his expectations.

Johnson's commitment isn't binding until he signs his letter of intent Feb. 1 on national signing day. But don't expect him to change his mind again. He's been waiting for this offer for a long time.

When Applewhite, co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin and wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt visited him at his home late Thursday, his future contributions to the Longhorns became clear.

"They want me on offense," said Johnson, whose father, Clyde, was an all-conference defensive back for Kansas State. "They feel like I can do a lot with the ball in my hands. They see me as a very explosive player and don't want to waste that on defense. That is why all the offensive coaches came to talk to me."

Johnson didn't know exactly where on offense but did say Texas' coaches mentioned tailback and slot, and then punt and kickoff return. Think, D.J. Monroe with a little more power.

If he is indeed going to stick with offense, he gives the Longhorns their sixth commitment from a skilled position player along with QB Connor Brewer (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral), QB Jalen Oversteet (Tatum, Texas/Tatum), WR Cayleb Jones (Austin, Texas/Stephen F. Austin), WR Kendall Sanders (Athens, Texas/Athens) and WR Marcus Johnson (League City, Texas/Clear Springs).

He also gives the Longhorns an adequate replacement for the decommitment of wide receiver Thomas Johnson (Dallas/Skyline), and insurance in the case that Dorial-Green Beckham (Springfield, Mo./Hillcrest) does not chose the Longhorns on national signing day.

"It's very humbling," Johnson said of the interest he has received from Texas. "When you get that type of exposure it is very humbling. It makes you want to work harder and gets you thinking bigger."

William Wilkerson covers University of Texas football and recruiting for HornsNation.
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