The Joshua Manning update surely attracted a lot of eyeballs in the Kansas State world, but that also goes for anything written about four-star quarterback target Avery Johnson of Maize High School.
Like Manning, he took his official visit to Manhattan over the weekend. Johnson’s trip began on a Saturday and finished up on a Monday. He took us through the 48 hours on the K-State campus, step by step.
And it began with a night at the home of Collin Klein.
“First night, we were just on Coach Klein’s Razor (Polaris ATV),” Johnson said. “We got to drive it around a little bit and went to a lake. We drove it around all the dirt roads near his house for about 30 minutes. My parents were in the other one and followed us. We ate a fresh steak across the lake. Coach Klein cooked it and his wife made the peach cobbler. It was a good home-cooked meal.”
“I also spent a lot of time around Adrian (Martinez) and a lot of the offensive linemen the first night, too,” he added.
The rest of the trip was a bit more football-centric and he linked up with Manning at that time.
“The second day started with breakfast,” Johnson shared. “That’s when I met up with Josh. We talked some ball. We had lunch at Goolsby’s. We played a lot of games. We talked a lot of ball before dinner. We met up with Deuce (Vaughn), Malik (Knowles), Felix (Audike-Uzomah) and TJ (Smith). They were at dinner with us, and we spent more time with them at their place.”
“We also hung out and met RJ (Garcia), he continued. “We went to the basketball facility and met their entire new coaching staff on Monday before we left.”
After he discussed the official visit at length and in full detail, KSO followed up with a few more questions. One of those was just about the inclusion of Adrian Martinez in his process and if that had been impactful.
“He’s the quarterback that I have connected with the most,” he admitted. “I have met all of them except for the incoming freshmen. Adrian is just the one that I have been in contact with the most. He made sure to hang out with me even on my unofficial visit there in the Spring. He’s explained to me why he came to K-State, why he likes it and how it has been different from his other experiences. He’s very knowledgeable and has a unique perspective.”
Lastly, on the topic of Kansas State, teaming up with Manning is certainly a consideration. And the weekend together in Manhattan was the first step of that potential combination.
“This visit was just about me and Josh,” Avery pointed out. “I was by myself the whole first day. But it was Josh and me on the visit and we had access to the entire staff. We were around everyone for an extended period of time. They wanted to make it special for us because we are two of, if not the top two guys on their board. It felt like they wanted to make it known. From the food to the games, being around all the people, coaches and players, they went all-out for us.”
“It was a good experience to have.”
With that all being said, Johnson’s recruitment is not finished. There are a few more steps left to take. Oregon and Washington still loom as contenders as well. He saw Washington a couple weeks ago and quickly re-hashed where things stand with the Huskies.
“At first, I didn’t know what to expect when I visited there,” Johnson explained. “I got down there and really enjoyed it. I love their offense. It was good to be around them with limited recruits on campus. We spent time with the whole staff. I enjoyed them. There was a lot of fun stuff.”
In relation to Oregon, it will be his second visit to Eugene. He walked away without an offer from the Ducks the first time and he explained how that process unfolded.
“I enjoyed my first visit there, but we didn’t have much time,” Johnson noted. “I’m excited to go down there for a few days this time. We visited there in January, and the big thing was that Coach (Dan) Lanning wanted to see me throw in person before they offered. He said that I would be their first stop when they hit the road for the spring evaluation period.”
Coach (Kenny) Dillingham saw me and taped me throwing,” he went on. “Coach Lanning watched it and liked what he saw and offered. I think they’re high on all three of me, Dante Moore and Jaden Rashada.”
Johnson arrives in Eugene on Thursday night, but the visit will begin on Friday.
A decision between that last official visit and the Elite 11 Finals is still expected.
“When we get back from Oregon, unless something crazy happens and I take another official visit that last weekend, I’ll spend time that whole week after the Oregon visit, evaluate the pros and cons of each school and get to that right fit for me. I hope to commit in the next week or two. I’m on track to have it done before the Elite 11 Finals.”