Virginia Tech Still Pursuing Aziah Johnson

Aziah Johnson
Wide Receiver, Class of 2023
Thomas Jefferson, Richmond, VA
6-2, 175

There’s now a top five for Thomas Jefferson (Va.) athlete Aziah Johnson. Still, there might be room for at least one more school to be under heavy consideration.

Johnson said he has a top five of North Carolina, Wake Forest, Michigan State, South Carolina and Duke. Not in that group is Virginia Tech, though the Hokies could be at the doorstep.

The Hokies offered a scholarship on Oct. 5, a day after the Tar Heels were his first Power Five offer. But Virginia Tech has remained in steady contact and has made Johnson one of its top remaining targets in the 2023 class.

“I would say they’re not far from the top five,” he said. “The love they’re showing me as a player, I just got off the phone with Coach (Fontel) Mines. They call and talk to me every day. Nothing’s changed. They’ve been on me hard. Not too long ago, Coach (Brent) Pry and Coach Mines came to my school to see me and we talked. Just me and the head coach talked and chatted up. They’re recruiting me hard.”

Mines, the Hokies’ primary recruiter for Johnson, has especially remained in contact, and Johnson said that’s a big reason why they’re still in contention.

“We’re close, very close,” Johnson said. “He texts me good morning, sends me quotes. Put it like this, we talk every day. I can actually say that. We talk every day.

“There’s not really a reason why they’re not in the top five.”

Last weekend, Johnson unofficially visited two of his finalists. He started the day on Saturday at Duke, for its game against Virginia Tech.

“I think Duke is a nice school and the football team, they have a decent program,” Johnson said. “I feel like Duke is more of an educational school. I know they’re mostly known for basketball, but they have a decent program. When I went to the game, as many people that have been to any I’ve been to, there weren’t many at Duke.”

Later that night, Johnson made the short drive to Wake Forest, for its game against North Carolina.

“They have a great football program, almost beat UNC,” he said. “They have a good staff and their program is really up to par. I didn’t get a chance to tour the school, but I know they have a lot of hospitals, so I know they have a decent medical program.”

Thomas Jefferson is still alive in the VHSL state playoffs and will host Poquoson (Va.) tomorrow in the Class 2 region semifinals. As a result, Johnson said he’s looking to take his official visits after the season, over the first few weeks of December. First up, he plans to officially visit Michigan State, though that date isn’t set.

“They’re a top school,” Johnson said of the Spartans. “They’re high on my list because it’s a Big Ten school and I know most of everybody in the program, from the trainer to the nutritionist. I know all of them have NFL experience. I feel like if everybody on their staff has experience, I’d have a better chance to make it to the NFL. They have good programs, too.”

After that visit, Johnson said he wants to officially see the Tar Heels.

“That’s one of my favorite schools,” he said. “I have a lot of family in North Carolina and they live around UNC, went to school there. My grandmother went to UNC, and I know if she was alive, that’d be the place she’d want me to go. Me taking an official there would mean a lot to me.”

The third school Johnson wants to for sure officially visit is South Carolina. A big part of that comes from one specific relationship there.

“They’re my only SEC offer right now and my coaches told me I’d like it there,” Johnson said. “Also, I know the DBs coach (Torrian Gray), he has good NFL experience. He’s sent a lot of DBs to the NFL.”

Much of Johnson’s recruiting plans remains up in the air. Depending on when his senior season ends, he could take more official visits. Johnson is also unsure whether he’ll commit in December or prolong his recruitment into January, based on the prolongment of his season, as well as the possibility of more schools entering the picture.

“Right now, I’m just waiting,” Johnson said. “My coaches haven’t dropped film from four to six games yet. After this game, this next playoff game, they’ll drop more film. I might get more offers, so I’m just waiting. Vanderbilt has been recruiting me hard, asking coaches about me. But there’s more.”

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