Shrine Bowl defensive end Brad Johnson of Pendleton went to Clemson last Saturday night for the Palmetto Bowl, not as a Clemson recruiting target but as a fan. The Tigers have not pursued Johnson but USC has for months. While it was an ugly night for the Gamecocks, Johnson's attitude towards them was not affected.
"He's emphatic about this, Saturday's game will have zero bearing on his decision," said Pendleton coach Paul Sutherland.
Johnson right now is going to set official visits to USC, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Mississippi State and Texas A&M also have been after him but Sutherland doesn't think there's time for Johnson to get to those campuses since the other three visits will have to be taken in January.
"We're trying to get it done as soon as possible but with the ACC Championship (Virginia Tech) and the Shrine Bowl, that's kind of putting us in a bind," Sutherland said. Johnson and his mother were to sit down Tuesday night to work on their dates. According to Sutherland, Johnson wants to take the USC visit last if possible.
Virginia Tech is hoping to have an in home with Johnson this week and likely will be the first one in the home. USC recruiter Coleman Hutzler talked with Johnson by phone Friday night.
Johnson made unofficial visits for games this season to USC, Tennessee and he was in Bristol as a guest of Virginia Tech for the game against Tennessee.