The start of the 2015 season is still a handful of days away for the Tennessee Volunteers, but head coach Butch Jones and his staff received some big news on Sunday afternoon in the recruiting department. In fact, it may be the biggest news Jones and his staff have received since being at Tennessee.
Hunter Johnson, a five-star recruit and the No. 1 overall quarterback in the class of 2017 according to 247Sports, committed to the Vols on Sunday afternoon. Johnson, who hails from Brownsburg, Indiana, holds offers from 20 other schools, including Notre Dame, Florida, Michigan, Northwestern, Penn State, Oklahoma, and others. Johnson recently cancelled a visit to Notre Dame, leaving many to believe the Vols were the front-runner to land his services. Johnson confirmed those suspicions on Sunday.
As a sophomore at Brownsburg, Johnson threw for 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns. At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, Johnson has the desired size of a big-time college quarterback, and he already appears to have many of the skills and intangibles necessary at the next level. And he's barely old enough to drive.
Johnson may be labelled as a pro-style quarterback and largely has operated as such thus far in high school, but his 40-yard dash time was reportedly clocked in at 4.7 seconds. For comparison, current Vols quarterback Joshua Dobbs has been timed in at 4.67 seconds for his 40 time.
It's still very early in Johnson's recruiting process, and he will most definitely field more offers from elite programs. At the time of his commitment, Ohio State, Florida State, and Wisconsin are still showing interest in Johnson without pulling the trigger on an offer just yet. But as it stands right now, Johnson is the highest-rated commitment Butch Jones and his staff have received since taking over at Tennessee before the start of the 2013 season.
Hunter Johnson is just a junior in high school, so don't be surprised if his recruitment takes some twists and turns along the way. But for now, he's one of the crown jewels in what has been an extremely successful recruiting run for the Vols.