As his decision nears, Independence C.C. (Kan.) weak-side defensive end Jermaine Johnson II has narrowed his list of options to just five finalists. The Texas Longhorns are among that bunch, along with Georgia, Oregon, Oklahoma, and UCLA.
A four-star prospect, Johnson announced on Sunday that he will be making his commitment “very soon,” which seemingly leaves the Longhorns with little time to take control of this recruitment. Several weeks ago, Johnson unofficially visited Georgia in mid-May, and came away from his time in Athens (Ga.) with the Bulldogs as his leader. At this juncture, Georgia holds six of his seven Crystal Ball projections.
An experience talent who totaled 58 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and eight sacks last season, Johnson visited Austin just weeks ago for the Heat Wave pool party, but to take pole position with the nation’s No. 5-ranked JUCO prospect, Texas will likely need to get him back on campus in the near future for an official visit.
The Ducks have already received an official visit, as has Colorado, although the Buffaloes were excluded from Johnson’s list.
Although Texas currently holds a weak-side defensive end pledge from Richmond George Ranch product Peter Mpagi, Johnson provides more upside as an immediate impact contributor. If the Longhorns can land Johnson, this would prove especially beneficial, as Breckyn Hager and Charles Omenihu are set to graduate following the 2018 season.
Listed at 6’6, 250 pounds, Johnson is ranked as the No. 2 JUCO defensive end in the country, per the 247Sports Composite.