*Editor's note: This interview was completed by SI All-American*
After hosting two five-star quarterbacks on campus this month in Jaden Rashada and Dante Moore, there might be a quarterback on Oregon's radar not enough people are talking about.
2023 quarterback Avery Johnson of Maize (Kan.) High School just punched his ticket to the Elite 11 finals after holding his own in Nashville over the weekend. Now he's turning his attention to official visits and getting back on the recruiting trail.
Maize QB Avery Johnson
Avery Johnson will take an official visit to Oregon ahead of a summer decision.
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound passer has some direction guiding him, but there's added intrigue as some schools could still enter the mix.
"Right now, towards the end of May I want to get all these officials finalized," said Johnson. "I got a few schools in my mind where I want to take these officials to. I just have some some schools that want to come see me throw that might offer. So that could change some stuff up for me."
Once he gets his visits locked in, he'll be focused on making his decision, with a tight timetable already in place.
"I want to be committed by the end of June," he said. "So before I get on a plane to the Elite 11 finals (June 28), I want to be able to to be rep a school."
Johnson is well aware of the way dominoes can fall in the recruiting game, especially when recruiting a quarterback. That's part of the reason why he wants to make his own call.
"I feel like whenever it happens, it happens," he said of his decision. "I don't want to be a reactive guy. I don't want to make my decision off of what somebody else is doing. I want to do my own thing."
With 24 reported offers to his name, there are a couple schools that have positioned themselves well for an official, led by a familiar in-state school.
"Right now K (Kansas) State's very high on my board, but I've been down there so many times I don't know if I'll take an official in June or maybe see if that ends up being where I want to go I might just take a season official," Johnson said.
"Coach (Collin) Klein has just done such a great job recruiting me. He's been so straightforward, so honest with me, it's just all you can ask for in the recruiting process," he said of the quarterbacks coach. "(I) Went and watched a practice and you can kind of see over spring they're just kind of transforming into this new offense that I'm starting to love."
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Aside from the in-state Wildcats, programs from across the country are in on the Kansas product.
"Other than that I got Washington, Oregon, Virginia, that I have offers from, and then LSU and Michigan, Miami and UCLA are all talking about maybe getting in the mix," Johnson said of schools under consideration for officials. "So those are kind of the schools I'm narrowing down from. I feel like the only one I have set in stone is I know I'm gonna take an official to Oregon."
The junior had a strong 2021 campaign, accounting for 3,630 yards of total offense (2,550 passing yards, 1,080 rushing yards) and he says Kenny Dillingham has led the way in Oregon's pursuit.
"Kenny just built a relationship with me when he was at Florida State," said Johnson. "So I've had a great relationship with him. And I took an unofficial down there in January. I love everything that they're doing on there. I love Coach Lanning. And Kenny you know, he's a little genius."
Avery Johnson Visits Oregon
Avery Johnson poses on the throne during a trip to Eugene.
As he works his way through the home stretch of his recruitment, Johnson is prioritizing relationships and offensive scheme among other factors.
"Really the relationships and who's recruited me the best," he said. "I feel like relationships go a long way. So relationships are really big to me, but I gotta go somewhere that fits me as a quarterback.
"I don't want to go into a program although I'm athletic and run the ball half the time and pass the ball half the time. I want to be a true quarterback and really be able to spin it and have to use my legs if I need to."
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