Jake Johnson is still considered one of the newer commits to the LSU 2022 class, making his decision back on April 15. But in the two months since announcing his intent to sign with the Tigers, he hasn't been able to meet any of his future teammates face to face.
That all changed over the first weekend of June when Johnson not only went down to Baton Rouge to spend some time with his brother Max, but also connect with the LSU staff, his fellow 2022 recruits and some of the current players on the roster.
"I went to their practices and meetings and it was great to see all of that," Johnson said. "I'm building a great relationship with the players that are on the team right now and it was great to see Walker [Howard], Will [Campbell and Bo [Bordelon] and making relationships with all of them. That's really the first time I've ever seen them in person so we went out to eat, they're all good guys and going to be good teammates."
Johnson took tours, got to know the facilities pretty well but most importantly, got to work a little bit with the LSU staff at the skills camp. Alongside quarterback Walker Howard, the duo connected on multiple throws throughout the 1v1 and 7v7 sessions, giving a sneak peek of what Tigers' fans have to look forward to in the future.
The Johnson and Howard families spent time with one another throughout the weekend, grabbing dinner, getting to know each other and talk about the future.
"He's a really great thrower, can put the ball wherever he wants but I'm sure we're looking forward to building that chemistry in college and ready to compete with each other," Johnson said.
The relationship he's been able to build with offensive coordinator Jake Peetz and passing game coordinator DJ Mangas is what really stood out during the camp. Both were giving Johnson instruction as brother Max watched with the rest of the Johnson family off to the side.
As Peetz and Mangas bring back the positionless offense where guys will be expected to be able to move around to various spots on the field to create mismatches, the 6-foot-5 tight end Jake figures to play a major role in those plans starting in 2022.
"It was fun going to the camp and being coached by coach Peetz," Johnson said. "I'm on the phone once or twice a week with them but being coached by them in person has been great. Coach Peetz and coach Mangas are really great coaches and the passing game all around is really looking good.
"I believe they can move me around wherever they want so they really know what they're doing. They really said that whether it's the slot or out wide or in tight, they feel comfortable putting me wherever I can have the most success, wherever there's a mismatch."
As for the offseason focus, Johnson has shut down his recruitment completely and won't be visiting any other programs this summer other than LSU, which he does expect to do at least a few more times. Adding muscle and continuing to convert his body from a receiver's build to a tight end build will continue to be the area of focus in weight training as Johnson heads into his senior season.
"I'm trying to gain weight as time goes by, just trying to get in good shape before summer workouts get going. I'm fully all the way LSU, I'm not taking other visits but I'm sure I'll be down there to see Max so I'll probably be down there again this summer."