Toby Johnson has gotten use to taking his time. His torn ACL and resulting crutches have made sure of it. Now he's decided to creep through his recruitment with the same methodical pace.
Johnson, a four-star defensive tackle at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, has taken a step back from his 25 scholarship offers. He's removed himself from the chaos. Things have gotten a little too crazy for his taste as of late.
If he needs to wait out the latest spin of the coaching carousel, so be it. He intends to do whatever it takes to avoid making a promise he'll have to break.
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"Tennessee was one of my top schools, and of course their coach got fired," Johnson said on Tuesday. "Auburn recently offered me, but then they fired Gene Chizik. So I haven't talked to Auburn lately. I'm going to wait to see what these coaches are doing. I'm going to let it play out."
And so the door to Johnson's recruitment has swung wide open once again. After a recent visit from members of the Missouri coaching staff, the Tigers have joined the fray with not just Johnson, but with fellow four-star tackle Ben Bradley, his Hutchison teammate. Both are in the process of finalizing a date for a visit to Columbia.
Suddenly, it's a come-one-come-all type of party.
"I'm not counting anybody out anymore," Johnson said. "Missouri has been on me for a while, but they just jumped on Ben really hard. We're talking about going to the same school. We're real close, so Missouri recruiting both of us, that's good."
The idea of a Johnson-Bradley package deal is relatively new and gives teams with room for a pair of junior college players at the same position some form of advantage. It seems everything as it relates to the duo's recruitment has changed as of late. At this point, there are no surprises.
Bradley remains a soft commitment to a Tennessee program without a head coach. And as for Johnson, well…
"I need everyone on my Rivals profile flipped back to even again," he said on Tuesday. "It says I'm only high or Georgia and Tennessee right now. I don't want that on there anymore because I'm just open to everyone. I don't want people to think I'm close to committing or have a favorite."
For now, there are few things of which Johnson seems absolutely sure. He knows he'll eventually take a visit to Missouri. He knows he's set to get an in-person look at Georgia on Dec. 7. Other than that, he's in the business of uncertainty.
"I'll probably just wait until juco signing day and make up my mind then," he said. "I'm going to try to go on a few more visits and see what happens."