The choice is within.
Maise High School quarterback Avery Johnson ended his lengthy recruiting on Tuesday when he announced his intention to play for Kansas State over other Oregon and Washington finalists.
Johnson chose the Wildcats after building a strong relationship with head coach Chris Klieman and offensive coordinator Collin Klein during his many recruiting visits to Manhattan. K-State was one of the first schools to pursue Johnson, and that loyalty was rewarded.
Johnson made the announcement in a packed corn gym that was filled with friends, loved ones and KSU fans who rejoiced in applause and cheers as he made his announcement official.
Even when 23 other colleges offered him scholarships, including those from Florida State and Notre Dame, Johnson never stopped communicating with the Wildcats. They were always on his radar.
Now he is ready to stay home and wear purple. And Johnson’s decision comes as a major recruiting win for K-State.
It has rarely been easy for the Wildcats to bring in the best local players from the Sunflower State. Did you know they haven’t landed the state’s highest-rated recruit since 2004? Well, that drought is over.
A six-foot, 170-pound passer with a double threat and a four-star rating on any recruiting website, Johnson is the highest-rated high school player in Kansas for 2023. He is also the most prominent quarterback at regional ties that K- State since Josh Freeman landed in 2006.
There will be a lot of joy in EMAW areas following Johnson’s announcement. He is considered the icing on the cake of an already exciting recruiting class that includes three other coveted recruits from the Wichita area and two more from Kansas City.
With a talented quarterback leading the way, K-State recruiting may heat up even more this summer than it already has.
It will be interesting to see how fast Johnson can get on the field with the Wildcats. Nebraska transfer Adrian Martinez is Skylar Thompson’s heir to this season, but he only has one year left of college. The quarterback depth chart will be wide open when Johnson is a freshman, with Will Howard and Jake Rubley as his main competition.
Johnson is coming off a sensational junior season with Maize in which he completed 56% of his passes for 2550 yards and 20 touchdowns to go along with 1080 yards and 22 touchdowns as a runner.
That got him a lot of recruiting attention – he had chances to play at every power conference. But the appeal of playing two hours from where he grew up, for a team that recently swept the floor with LSU in the Texas Bowl, was too good to pass up.
In the end he decided to stay at home.