DL Sterling Johnson of Clayton, NC had a simple plan for making a commitment Tuesday and releasing the information later in the night. He had decided to commit to the Tennessee Vols over Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State. He would call his Vols recruiter during the day, make his commitment and then release the information on Twitter around 7:30 PM.
But, this is recruiting and things don't always go as planned. Johnson called Tennessee to offer up his pledge only to be told, no so fast my friend. The Vols weren't ready to take his commitment until seeing him in camp this summer. In fairness to Tennessee, two of their defensive ends apparently have grown into tackles and their need at that position was diminished. But in fairness to Johnson, Tennessee had never made that clear to him leading him to believe he was a take.
Of course, after Tennessee rebuffed Johnson's commitment attempt, he dropped the Vols from consideration. And he quickly turned to Clemson. The Tigers called and talked to his coach Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday night, shortly after 8:00 PM, Johnson tweeted out a commitment to Clemson. And later in the night he talked with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
How does Johnson explain the sudden turn of events in his life?
"I felt like it was God's plan. I really enjoyed our conversation (with Swinney) and I like the coaching staff because they are real people and work like everyone else."
Johnson is a tremendous pick up for Clemson. The Tigers will lose three senior defensive tackles from this season's defense and Johnson will help to fill the void. He can play defensive tackle or defensive end. And he likes the way Clemson plays defense.
"Real aggressive and fast," said Johnson who had 80 tackles with 56 for loss and 8 sacks last season. He's Clemson's 12th commitment for the 2015 class and the second for the defensive line.
Catch Phil Kornblut every night on SportsTalk and get more of his statewide recruiting news at SportsTalkSC.com and on Twitter @SportsTalkSC.