Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
Johnson ready to earn offer from Hogs
Arkansas has extended numerous scholarship offers to prospects with strong camp performances. Highland athlete Avery Johnson hopes to be one of those this summer.
He and his father, Blane visited the Hogs on Saturday and met with defensive coordinator Robb Smith to talk over possible positions.
“He said we’ll see how it goes at camp because it all depends on how much I weigh,” said Johnson, who ran a 4.54 laser time in the 40 yard dash last summer. “Me personally, I think I’ll be a strong safety because he said strong safety could move down to outside linebacker. I think I would be good there. He just said wait and see at camp and he’ll put me where he wants me.”
Johnson, 6-1, 206 pounds has received scholarship offers from Arkansas State and Southern Miss while drawing interest from Arkansas, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and others. Smith impressed he and his father. Video highlights CLICK HERE
“He showed a little bit more attention to me and my dad and talked to us and made us feel special,” said Johnson, who plans to visit Southern Miss, Memphis and Ole Miss. “It was nice talking to him. He was a real good guy.”
Johnson said Smith broke down his defensive philosophy by communicating in a unique way.
“He broke it down and told us what he was planning,” Johnson said. “He talked about Hognese. Their new language. He said people talk Japanese and Chinese. He said the language is just about the Hogs now.“
In 10 regular season games, Johnson had 62 rushes for 664 yards, a 10.7 yards a carry average and 10 touchdowns along with 32 receptions for 449 yards and 6 touchdowns. Defensively, he had 35 tackles, 6 interceptions and a recovered fumble.
Johnson also spent time with Coach Bret Bielema.
“Coach B had my dad and I come into his office and we talked for about 10 minutes,” Johnson said. “It was pretty cool. He was telling me to come down to camp and just about the recruiting process.”
Johnson averaged 16.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2 steals, 2.1 assists and a blocked shot this season in basketball.
His father enjoyed meeting Smith and Bielema.
“He loved it,”Johnson said. “He really likes the defensive coordinator. He likes coach B a lot. He said he’s a good guy. He said coach B is a guy he would let his son play for.”
Johnson was invited and will attend an Oklahoma State camp and a spring practice along with a North Carolina spring practice. An offer from the Razorbacks would mean a lot to him.
“It would be a dream come true,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to play for the Hogs. It would be incredible. It would be a dream come true.”