On Friday evening, Port Neches-Grove quarterback Roschon Johnson became the second pledge of the “Stars at Night” recruiting event for the Texas Longhorns when he dropped two simple words and a hashtag on Twitter:
But while the low-key Johnson didn’t make a video or screenshot a long explanation of his decision, make no mistake — Johnson’s decision was a big moment for head coach Tom Herman and offensive coordinator Tim Beck to jumpstart the 2019 recruiting class.
The 6’0.5, 192-pound Johnson isn’t just the first pledge for Herman and company in the upcoming cycle, he is an extremely important pledge, as quarterbacks invariably become the leader of every recruiting class.
As a result, securing early decisions from the top targets is always a priority.
When the commitment comes from the clear top target on the board, all the better.
A consensus four-star prospect, Johnson is the No. 167 player nationally, the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback, and the No. 21 player in the state of Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
He’s also the only dual-threat quarterback and the only in-state quarterback offered by the ‘Horns in the 2019 class, as Herman and Beck decided not to offer pro-style standout Grant Gunnell, who recently committed to the Aggies.
The staff was in the process of evaluating rising Allen dual threat Grant Tisdale, who is ranked one spot ahead of Johnson in the Composite rankings, but opted for the more proven player, as Tisdale attempted only 55 passes in 2016 as the back up to Mitchell Jonke.
Johnson, meanwhile, was assuming a starring role in the Golden Triangle high school football scene as a first-year starter, throwing for more than 2,300 yards and accumulating 56 total touchdowns.
And so with Johnson ready to make his decision over schools like Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, the staff opted to take his commitment instead of asking him to hold off in order to evaluate Tisdale this season.
With a number of top 2019 targets on campus Friday like wide receivers Arjei Henderson, Theo Wease, and Jordan Whittington, it’s hard to fault Herman for that strategy, as Johnson was able to get a jumpstart on the process of recruiting players in his class.
The current consensus is that the Longhorns are in a strong position with each of those three wide receivers, as well as running back Noah Cain and center Branson Bragg. In fact, the Friday visit by Bragg prompted two more Crystal Ball predictions in favor of Texas to join the three already cast for the ‘Horns.
With about 16 months until Johnson can ink with Texas, there’s still an incredible amount of time until the early signing period in late 2018. However, with the quarterback already committed in the class and a number of key offensive prospects already favoring the Longhorns, it looks like the 2019 group isn’t far behind the burgeoning 2018 class in terms of momentum in the context of the cycle’s overall trajectory.
So, what’s the term for what comes after the revolution?