When the recruiting period for the 2013 class began a few months ago, Baylor identified three in-state QBs as worthy of offers: Tyrone Swoopes of Whiteright, J.T. Barrett of Wichita Ryder, and Chris Johnson of Bryan HS. Word was that Baylor, having taken only one true QB in the previous class (Seth Russell), would be in the market for two this time around, and the later offer of Southlake QB Kenny Hill supports this idea. As it was, Chris Johnson became Baylor's first commit of the 2013 at the Junior Day on January 29 of this year. Tyrone Swoopes committed next on February 17 to Texas with J.T. Barrett giving his pledge to Urban Meyer and Ohio State on April 18.
In case you haven't already, check out Wescott Eberts' abbreviated scouting report on Johnson from SBNation Recruiting.
My personal favorite from the original three (Swoopes, Barrett, and Johnson) was Barrett, a veritable clone of RGIII both athletically and, from all accounts, personally. I hoped that Baylor could build on RGIII's national profile, expanded through his Heisman season, Combine, and Pro Day, to lure Barrett to join Johnson and give Baylor two chances at finding its next RGIII. If given the choice, I actually stated on this very blog that I would trade Johnson for Barrett with no questions asked. Depending on which recruiting service you like, Barrett is either the best or simply one of the best dual-threat QBs in the country, and as I've said before, I am an unabashed starswhore. It didn't help that reports from Johnson's junior year were less than positive and several so-called "recruiting experts" panned his chances at remaining a QB in the future. Briles may have loved his potential-- it was reported that Briles preferred Johnson over either of the other two-- but few agreed ... at least initially.
Let's just say that I've changed my mind and think others will, too. Last season, Johnson suffered from a combination of a bad offense and several injuries that limited his effectiveness. In a new offense brought by first-year HC Ross Rogers, Johnson will have the chance this year that he didn't have as a junior to air it out and demonstrate his skills. And thanks to a video report from their first practice today, you have a chance to see the transformation Johnson has undergone from a run-first twig to what looks like a college QB playing HS football (his passes come at :13 and :42). Need more? ESPN has a new video on his recruiting profile that will give it to you.
Don't bother looking at their measurements, though. Johnson is actually 6-5, 215. And he runs a 4.5.