Tillman Johnson planned to visit both of the final two schools he was considering signing with heading into the weekend.
Those plans were quickly altered once the Round Rock McNeil defensive end visited North Texas and saw what the program had to offer. Johnson was set to visit Texas State next weekend and then make his choice, but quickly decided UNT was where he wanted to be by Sunday night.
Johnson committed to UNT before he left town and canceled his visit to San Marcos.
“I liked the coaches, the facilities and the players,” Johnson said. “They also had a good team this past season, which had a lot to do with it. That season made me feel like the program is headed in the right direction.”
Oral commitments are non-binding. The first day recruits in the class of 2014 can sign national letters of intent is Feb. 5.
Johnson (6-foot-1, 243 pounds) was a first-team All-District 16-5A selection last season.
Johnson said he received a scholarship offer from New Mexico State in addition to Texas State and UNT.
UNT continued to recruit Johnson after he committed to Texas State in late June. That dedication paid off for UNT.
Mike Canales, the Mean Green’s offensive coordinator, recruited Johnson.
Head coach Dan McCarney also played a key role in Johnson’s decision to commit to UNT.
“Coach Mac made a point to call me every week,” Johnson said. “That was a huge deciding factor for me. He came to visit me at school and made a big impression on me. That made me feel like I’m a priority.”
McCarney led UNT to a 9-4 finish, including a win over UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on New Year’s Day, in his third season with the Mean Green.
That performance caught Johnson’s attention and led him to back out of his pledge to Texas State to sign with UNT.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.
NORTH TEXAS RECRUITS
The following is a list of players who have orally committed to sign with UNT in 2014:
School last attended
Moore (Okla.) Southmoore
Dallas South Oak Cliff
Round Rock McNeil
Edmond (Okla.) North
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M