Mississippi State transfer RB Dillon Johnson (6-0 192) was one of the portal prospects to visit USC last weekend. What makes his situation unique to other transfers looking for a new home is Johnson has already committed to Washington. He did that on January 3rd. But the Gamecocks got involved recently and had him in, and now they are very much in the hunt.
“I think South Carolina might could be the move,” Johnson said. “I really enjoyed the visit. I felt like it was the best visit I’ve been on. They brought a lot to the table. They have a lot going on. The depth looks again. It definitely could be a possibility.”
Most transfers aren’t caught up in the things that impress high school recruits, such as dorms, weight rooms and stadiums. They are older guys and they’ve already seen that stuff. What they are looking for is opportunity, and Johnson sees that in Columbia.
“They are kind of in need for a running back. If I’m not mistaken, I think they have two scholarship guys,” Johnson said. “There’s only one that has really experience in the SEC, and I think that’s Juju (McDowell). Besides that, nobody else in the room has any type of experience in the SEC. That’s really a huge need for them. They have a new OC and he’s been on me since he arrived. I’m his guy and he’s trying to get me over there. When you’re wanted, it makes things a lot easier.”
Auburn is the third school Johnson has visited along with USC and Washington, but his deal is basically sticking with the Huskies or flipping to the Gamecocks. And in his mind, the ball is in Washington’s court as he waits to see how some things that concern him are addressed.
“I’m really waiting on some other things to see how they play out, and if they don’t play out how I think they should be, I’ll be there (USC),” Johnson said. “I would enroll there this summer. We already talked. They kind of jumped on me kind of late. I’m trying not to make a quick decision or feel like I’m rushed. They don’t want me to feel like that. I definitely just want to make sure I’m making the right decision. They aren’t too worried the spring just because they know what I can do. My film speaks for itself. They just want me to be there and be comfortable with my decision.”
However, as of now, the commitment to Washington remains in place.
“I feel good about it,” Johnson said. “I have some things I need to go right for me to continue that commitment. We’ll see. It’s across the country and I’m making a big jump. If they pull some strings together, then I’ll continue my commitment. If they can’t, then I’ll be back on the market.”
That raises the question about whether this is an NIL situation Johnson is waiting to be finalized. He said not.
“NIL stuff is already done. Nothing to do with NIL stuff,” he said. “It’s more to do with family stuff. We’ll just try to figure that out and go from there. It’s up to Washington, really. It’s all in Washington’s hands right. I’m just looking to see what they are trying to do. I’m not rushing them because I really do like Washington. We’re just trying to get some kinks out right now.”
Johnson said there is a fourth school he’s talking to that he does not want to reveal, and a visit could come together with that school at some point.
In three seasons at Mississippi State Johnson rushed for 1198 yards and 11 touchdowns averaging 5.2 yards per carry.