It’s still early in the recruiting process for Travis Johnson, but with around 30 offers already, the 2013 wide receiver from Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla., knew it was time to start organizing things.
Earlier this week, the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder released a top 10 of Notre Dame, Ohio State, Cincinnati, LSU, Oklahoma State, Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Michigan State and USC, in no particular order.
“I’m not officially cutting teams out,” Johnson said clearly. “I’m still working teams in and out. I’m going to officially make my top 10 going into senior year or before senior year.”
But this list will allow Johnson to focus on a manageable group.
“It lets me put the teams I like together and is an opportunity for me to narrow it down to the teams I like,” he said. “I can check out the offenses and see how the academics are. If I get an offer later on from a different school, I can also put them in. That’s why I’m not going to have an official top 10 until my senior year.”
Ohio State and Florida made the list based on family rooting interests while the rest of the schools were included based on his impressions of them from coaches, television and other sources. Being a faith-based school helped Notre Dame with the Jesuit High prospect.
“If you graduate from Notre Dame and someone sees that, they know you’re doing something right with your life,” he said. “They put people in the right direction with their life. That’s why I like Notre Dame.”
Johnson is looking toward the next step in the process.
“I’m looking forward to having a chance to go out on unofficials and checking out recruiting staffs in person,” he said.
South Bend is a possible destination on Johnson’s fall itinerary.
“I would love to go check out Notre Dame,” he said. “I’ve heard they’ve got a beautiful campus. I want to check it out myself and see what it’s all about.”
But Johnson’s immediate focus is on his high school squad.
“This is going to be my third year starting on varsity, so I’m going to try to take on a role as more of a vocal leader for next year,” he said. “I wouldn’t really call myself a leader right now because I want to give that to the seniors this year because they’ve been waiting in line for their turn. I want to let them lead the team, I’m going to be more of a vocal guy in the back.”
Johnson is also looking to improve as a player, working with coaches to become a better blocker.
“That’s what I think I’ve been a little weak in in the past, but I’m getting more aggressive as a blocker,” he said. “I’ve been hearing that it’s not just all about the catching and the running. It’s also about the blocking down field to make plays for other guys.”
With a coaching staff packed with NFL experience and a number of talented players, Johnson is confident it’ll be a successful season.
“We’re going to be set, we’ve just got to go out and make plays.”
(Photo courtesy of BigCountyPreps.com)