AUSTIN, Texas -- Take Daje Johnson (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) off the list of official visitors to Texas for this weekend.
The four-star athlete has decided to cancel his visit and stick with his commitment to TCU.
“I talked with [Texas offensive coordinator Bryan] Harsin about it earlier today and I am going to stick with TCU,” Johnson said. “He was just wondering why I am staying. I don’t want to get into detail.”
When it comes down to it, though, Johnson felt like Texas just got into the game a little too late while TCU stayed persistent in its quest for the No. 14 athlete and No. 141 player in the ESPNU 150.
“That’s what I felt,” said Johnson, who stands 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds. “I feel like when they first talked to me, everything was good and that’s when I was planning on switching. But then they stopped contacting me and they didn’t keep in contact when they stopped. They stopped for some months so I thought they weren’t really serious about me.”
Johnson initially got in contact with Texas’ coaches to see if there was any mutual interest by texting Mack Brown during the season. There was enough interest from the Longhorns to ask Johnson to take an unofficial visit to meet some of the coaches.
But nothing came of that meeting even though Texas went on to sign two more skilled offensive players in the coming months in Kendall Sanders (Athens, Texas/Athens) and Marcus Johnson (League City, Texas/Clear Springs). Neither of those players are rated higher that Daje Johnson in the ESPNU 150.
When Thomas Johnson (Dallas/Skyline) decommitted from the Longhorns a few weeks ago, Johnson seemed like the perfect replacement. But Texas didn’t call immediately, so Johnson moved on. It wasn’t until last week that the two sides reconvened and scheduled an official visit for this weekend.
“Coach Harsin was talking about ‘it’s not about showing love,’ but it’s not even like that,” Johnson said. “It was just knowing that you are interested. They stopped talking, didn’t call or write. I felt like they were moving on with me, so I moved on to. When they came back it just made me feel like all of their evaluations that they had before, that they were making other evaluations when they stopped talking to me, they weren’t coming through so they came back to me.”
Johnson called TCU wide receivers coach Trey Haverty right after he got off the phone with Harsin to tell him he is now 100 percent with the Horned Frogs.
“It’s a big relief,” Johnson said.
Johnson, who took his official visit to TCU in December, isn’t sure where he’ll play for the Horned Frogs.
“Right now they really don’t know,” he said. “They say I can play running back or corner. They asked me if I wanted to play running back or corner, but I’m not sure either. So I am just going to come in and see where I best fit. They said that there is no doubt that I will start back at kickoff return and punt return.”
Johnson is the second player in less than a week to tell Texas that he is no longer interested. Defensive end Mario Edwards (Denton, Texas/Ryan) told the Longhorns last week that he was going to choose between Florida State and LSU.
It will be interesting to see where Texas goes from here. It seems like it showed its hand in its pursuit for Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield, Mo./Hillcrest) by extending an official visit invitation to Johnson this late in the recruiting process.
Now that Johnson is no longer available Texas will have to decide if it will stand pat with three receivers and one running back for 2012, or if it will pursue anyone else like it just did with Tennessee linebacker Dalton Santos (Van, Texas/Van), who received an offer from the Longhorns on Sunday.