Trinity Christian in Jacksonville seems to have a big named prospect year after year and the same is true this year.
Cornerback Tyreke Johnson (6-1, 191, Jacksonville, FL. Trinity Christian) is that guy this year and on Friday he visited the Florida Gators for the spring game.
“I loved it. I loved what I saw from their defense,” Johnson said of his visit to Florida on Saturday. “It seems like they want the long corners inside the dude’s face and to challenge the receivers at the line is something very exciting, and I also like how the defense was flying around, hitting people. I know it’s your own team, you don’t hurry nobody, but tonight [Friday] it’s like they left it all on the field, gave it 110 percent.”
Johnson has been to Gainesville several times in the past but he had something that he was looking to see on Friday from the Gators.
“I was curious to see how they were going to replace the guys that left,” he said on what he was looking to see. “ They’ve got Chauncey [Gardner] up to date, he’s looking great. He’s going to be a first-round corner.”
Friday was the second time for Johnson to meet new defensive backs coach Corey Bell but the cornerback does know a little bit about the coach.
“Well, it just started, you know, and I kinda like him,” Johnson said of his relationship with Corey Bell. “He’s a real dude. He coached one of my close friends Ricardo Williams down there at FAU and they tell me he’s a very good coach.”
While meeting on Friday, Bell had a short message for Johnson about him coming to Florida and playing for the Gators.
“He tells me that I can come here and leave a legacy here in my home-state,” he said of what Bell tells him. “You don’t have to go far just to leave a legacy and go to the league.”
Running backs coach Tim Skipper is the area recruiter for Johnson and he also had a short message for the Trinity prospect on Friday.
“Come on down the street and be home,” Johnson said of what Tim Skipper tells him. “And it’s just like, I can be here and leave my legacy, same as Coach Bell.”
Johnson doesn’t plan to announce a decision any time soon but he does know what he wants to continue to see from Florida.
“Just continued to show me that they’re breeding defensive backs,” he said on what Florida has done to keep him interested. “It’s not all about the wins and losses. It’s about how they breed your position and are they putting guys in the NFL.
The Gators signed five defensive backs in last year’s class but that doesn’t concern Johnson because of the way his high school produces good players.
“At Trinity, we always have top corners. Every year we have top corners, and being a competitor is what sets you apart from the next man,” Johnson said of the competition. You know, coming in here to compete is something we live for. At Trinity, we love to compete. We compete every day. And just because they signed five corners doesn’t mean all five will play, because I plan on coming in here and taking something.”
Florida is hoping to keep Johnson instate but several out of state west coast schools like UCLA and USC are in the mix for the cornerback and he explained why that’s the case.
“Same thing as every school. It’s just that their academics set them apart from everyone else,” he said on why he likes the west coast schools. “If you look at all the West Coast schools, their academics are just outstanding. It’s just schools in the south are on a lower level than West Coast schools when it comes to academics. Especially in my major, out there.”
Johnson has taken only a few visits this spring and right now he only knows of one other visit this spring.
“All I know is that I’m going to Florida Atlantic on the 22nd for the spring game. That’s all I know.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Johnson doesn’t give out a leader or top schools but right now USC and UCLA are the two teams in the best position for the cornerback. If Johnson decides to stay closer than Florida is the team to watch.