2023 Maize (Kan.) quarterback Avery Johnson is one step closer to making his college commitment.
On Saturday, the four-star prospect announced a new set of finalists that included Oregon, Kansas State and Washington. He also set a decision date of July 5, pushing back his original timeline of being committed before the Elite 11 Finals, scheduled for June 28.
Johnson was on campus in Eugene for his official visit last week, a trip that served as his second under the new coaching regime. That time gave him a chance to reconnect with Kenny Dillingham, who had been recruiting him previously at Florida State.
"I love everything that they're doing," Johnson said of the Ducks. "I love Coach Lanning and Kenny, he's a little genius."
Kansas State has been viewed as the favorite for some time seeing that they're the in-state school, but Washington and Oregon both made their best pitches when they hosted Johnson for official visits this month.
This is a particularly interesting situation for the Ducks, as they are hosting five-star Martin Luther King (Detroit, Mich.) quarterback Dante Moore on an unofficial visit this weekend. Oregon would love to get their quarterback in the fold for 2023 sooner rather than later, as we've seen the domino effect that can create on the trail.
Washington finds themselves in a tricky spot as well. This isn't the first time they've been battling the Ducks for a quarterback after both schools offered Aidan Chiles, the 2023 passer who recently committed to Oregon State.
However, to their credit, the Huskies have been on a hot streak recently, landing five commitments since June 20--highlighted by four-star Wylie East (Tex.) defensive lineman Anthony James.
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This is a bit of a pickle for the Ducks if you ask me. It's always nice to be a finalist for a talent like Johnson. Not only can he pass, but he also ran for more than 1,000 yards as a junior in 2021, and mobility looks like it'll be key for the new Oregon offense.
However, the timing of this news is fascinating as it overlaps with the Moore visit. If you're the Oregon staff and Johnson wants to commit, do you give him the green light and run the risk of missing out on Moore? That is assuming that you're only taking one QB in 2023.
Or do you feel like you're undoubtedly the team to beat for Moore after a strong visit this weekend? If you hold off on Johnson, you run the risk of missing out on both him and Moore, who has yet to set a commitment date.
There's no such thing as a sure thing in recruiting, and even if you do end up landing Moore, you can bet the top programs in the country will still circle back and give it their best shot before pen meets paper on National Signing Day.
There's some risks to take into account here, but at the very least it looks like there's some undeniable momentum for Oregon in their pursuits of Johnson and Moore considering they got him out on campus for an unofficial visit.
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