Like thousands of other high school football players across the country, Kenny Johnson is preparing for the upcoming football season.
For the 6’1″ wide receiver from Dallastown High School in York, Pennsylvania, this will be his final season of high school football before taking his talents to the collegiate level.
Johnson made the decision earlier this summer to close down his recruitment and gave a verbal commitment to Pat Narduzzi and the ACC Champion Pitt Panthers.
By doing this, Johnson was hoping to eliminate the distractions of recruiting, which would allow him to focus 100% on his senior season and working on specific areas of his game.
Before heading out to the practice field with his team this afternoon, Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with Johnson to talk about the upcoming season and found out despite his commitment to Pitt, his recruiting is as busy as ever.
“Starting my last season of high school, there’s excitement and there’s patience too,” said Johnson. “I’m just thinking about how past all of this has gone. My four years have gone so fast and I’m just trying to take everything in and enjoying every practice. It’s not like I’m enjoying every rep but I’m just trying to make sure that I’m and my team is getting better and letting the season come to me.”
“No doubt, 100%, I believe there’s always room for improvement. I think the biggest thing that I want to improve on is definitely my route running. I know a lot of people look at the forty time but me personally, I feel like I’m running way faster than my 4.5. It is what it is. I just want to be more efficient running my routes and be more smoother running my routes. I also want to try and refine my hands even more.”
Back on June 4 during his official visit to Pitt, Johnson decided he didn’t want to take any more official visits and committed to Pitt. He made that decision despite having other official visits scheduled in June and with committable offers from Penn State, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Minnesota, Louisville, Cincinnati and Boston College.
Johnson tells PSN that when he committed, he thought that would end his recruitment from other programs but realizes that isn’t the case.
“Not even close. Schools are still after me, they’re still trying to see where my head is at and if I have any doubt in my head,” said Johnson. “I wouldn’t say that it’s more attention but it’s definitely not a huge drop off. A lot of time, they’ll be sending me checkup texts and ask me what I’m feeling. Or they’ll be like ‘man you didn’t even go on your other official visits; how did you know your decision was right so early’. They’ll ask me, ‘do you think you should come here on an official visit to be sure’. But I’m very comfortable with the decision that I made to Pitt. Maybe I should’ve taken more official visits but at the end of the day, it’s the decision I made and I’m good with it.”
Johnson isn’t the only Pitt 2023 commitment that’s getting pulled at by other schools, as 4-star quarterback Kenny Minchey recently received an offer from Notre Dame. The two highly regarded recruits are staying in touch and still talking about their futures with the Pitt Panthers.
“We were texting in a group chat about it. We’re all going through similar situations and we all can relate to each other. We talk a lot and make sure we know where each other’s heads are. At the end of the day, we’re trying to make this a player’s led team. I truly believe in Coach Underwood, in Coach Duzz, in Coach Cignetti but the best teams are ones that are player led and I really believe that we have something really, really good going on at Pitt.”
By the way, Johnson tells me that he won’t be at Pitt’s season opener against West Virginia because of his game the next day but that he will be in attendance the following week against Tennessee.