Only last week Bearcat Insider spoke to Will Johnson as he sat in Nippert Stadium with his mother watching the Bearcats dismantle the Syracuse Orange. Four days later Johnson decided Cincinnati was the place for him. "I committed Wednesday night. I talked to my mom and coach about it, and it was just the right decision. We really liked it. We love Coach Dantonio. We like what he's doing with the program. They have a lot of young guys, and I want to be a part of it."
Will played two season at Chaminade-Julienne before transferring to Centerville High School, but he consulted the head coaches at both schools (Andy Helms-Chaminade; and Ron Ullery-Centerville) before making his decision. Everyone was in agreement that Cincinnati was a good fit for Will.
Johnson paraphrased his conversation with Coach Dantonio. "He said he was excited and looking forward to having me. He also said we were going to win a championship in the next few years before I graduate. He thought it was a good decision and was very excited."
Grades had cost Will some playing time during his high school career, but he feels he's in good shape now. "I'm doing good, but I'm going to take the ACT another couple times. I think I can do better."
In accepting the Bearcat offer, Will turned down athletic scholarships from Eastern Michigan, Marshall and Bowling Green. Will had planned an official visit to Marshall on November 9th but called the Herd to cancel the trip.
At Centerville High School this year, Will played both running back and cornerback, but those will likely not be his positions as a Bearcat. Will said Coach Dantonio has talked to him about playing either wide receiver or safety. Of those two positions, he prefers receiver, but he also wouldn't mind using his 4.45 forty speed to remain at running back.
The Bearcats haven't had a great deal of success recruiting in the Dayton area over the years, but recent weeks certainly indicate things are changing. Prior to making his decision, Johnson spoke to Bearcat commit, Rob Trigg, and likes the idea of again playing with his old Gem City buddy from Chaminade-Julienne.
When asked to tell Bearcat fans what they needed to know about Will Johnson, the soft spoken youngster just laughed and mumbled, "I don't know." Bearcat fans will soon be finding out what Will's too modest to say. The Bearcats have just added another superb athlete to their program.