January 17, 2011

Johnson still open after MSU visit

C.J. Johnson traveled to Mississippi State this past weekend with questions on his mind.

The long-time Bulldog commit opened his recruitment following Manny Diaz's departure from MSU to become Texas' defensive coordinator the first weekend of January, and Johnson is using these three weeks before signing day to see which Southeastern Conference School is right for him.

He'll visit Ole Miss Jan. 21 and LSU Jan. 28., while a trip to Arkansas could be added, as well.

The visit to Starkville, Miss., was important, because it allowed head coach Dan Mullen to answer Johnson's questions and introduce him to new MSU linebackers coach Geoff Collins.

Johnson was pleased with the answers.

"The coaches over there answered all my questions in great fashion," Johnson said. "They told me how much they really want me and how things are the same as before. I had good talks with all the coaches and really enjoyed hanging out with the players. Overall, it was a really good experience."

However, Johnson is determined to not make another commitment without seeing all finalists and knowing for sure which school he wants to sign with. Asked if the recent visit put State back as a clear leader, Johnson was direct with his answer.

"No, definitely not, no," the Philadelphia, Miss., native said.

Ole Miss and LSU will have the opportunity to convince him.

"I want to be showed that I'll be really comfortable," Johnson said. "I want to know it'll be the best fit for me in every way. It's all about where you're the happiest and which school can provide the environment to be successful. And the next couple visits will let me know the coaches more. I'm still wide open.

"I'm now going to be a Signing Day decision."

Johnson recorded 149 tackles during his senior season and was named the MVP of the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Football Classic. He also participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder is currently rated the No. 6 inside linebacker and No. 138 overall prospect by Rivals.com , but Johnson is expected to move up when the new rankings are released this week, due to his play in the all-star events.

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