May 28, 2012

Johnson hopes Laramie visit nets offer

Monday wasn't much of a day off for Peoria (Ariz.) offensive tackle Hayden Johnson. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder spent his day working out and headed to his job on Memorial Day. It is that sort of work ethic that has landed him two scholarship offers (South Dakota State and Air Force), with potentially more to come.

"The first thing is what I came into recruiting is I just wanted to get college paid for and everything else is a bonus," Johnson said. "Stuff on top of that is a good coaching staff is always appreciated and everyone now seems to be re-building all their facilities, which is good for me."

This week will go a long way in finding out just where those offers will come from. Johnson said he and his father will check out Air Force as well as Colorado State and Wyoming, who both sound interested in his services.

"I hope that at those three schools I can still play tackle," Johnson said. "I would like to stay at tackle. I would like to see some of (each school's) tackles to see if I am comparable in size.

"I know that Colorado has great weather, so I think I would enjoy both places. I am not afraid of serving in the Air Force, but I think my questions will mostly be based around that in Colorado Springs. The Colorado State coaches have answered a lot of my questions. I have never been to Wyoming, so I am excited to see what it is like up there. My only questions is how hot the summers get because I would like to get out of the heat."

While this week's trip through to three Mountain West Conference schools will be key to his recruiting, they are not the only trips he plans to take. He said he will camp at Duke and Arizona State this summer and hopes to get to Washington and Iowa State before making a decision.

Johnson said he hopes to make a college choice by the end of June, but isn't willing to set that in stone. Instead, he said he wants to meet as many coaches and get to as many campuses as he can before committing.

Thus far, Johnson said his communication with Wyoming has been good and a scholarship offer has been discussed. He said he hopes it develops during his visit to Laramie.

"I know my dad really likes the area and said the academics are good," Johnson said. "I am excited to go up there and if all goes well and I get an offer, I'll be happy. I called (Wyoming assistant coach Matt Rahl) earlier this week and from what I understand they want to keep me at tackle. I might play a little guard, to start out, but i would like to play tackle."

Johnson led an offensive line that accumulated 2,510 rushing yards and 2,276 yards through the air for Centennial a year ago. The Centennial senior has put in the time in the weight room to post a 265-pound bench press max and a 350-pound squat, but understands he will likely redshirt in his first year on campus.

"I think where ever I go I would probably redshirt," Johnson said. "I realize I am probably a little undersized and would like to add some strength. Right now I think my strongest point is my run block. My pass block is in the process of getting better. I don't think it is bad, but there is always room for improvement in whatever you do."

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