Kansas’ No. 1-ranked football recruit has made his choice. It’s EMAW for Avery Johnson

Kansas’ No. 1-ranked football recruit has made his choice. It’s EMAW for Avery Johnson
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The pick is in.

Maize High School quarterback Avery Johnson ended his lengthy recruitment on Tuesday when he announced his intention to play for Kansas State over other finalists Oregon and Washington.

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 Maize gymnasium that was filled with friends, loved ones and KSU fans who rejoiced in applause and cheers when he made his announcement official.

Even as 23 other colleges offered him scholarships, including the likes of Florida State and Notre Dame, Johnson never stopped communicating with the Wildcats. They were always on his radar.

Now, he’s ready to stay home and wear purple. And Johnson’s decision comes as a major recruiting victory for K-State.

Landing the top local players from within the Sunflower State has rarely been easy for the Wildcats. Did you know they hadn’t landed the state’s top-rated recruit since 2004? Well, that drought is over.

Johnson, a 6-foot-2 and 170-pound dual-threat passer with a four-star rating on every recruiting website, is the top-rated high school player in Kansas for 2023. He is also the highest-profile quarterback with regional ties whom K-State has landed since Josh Freeman in 2006.

There will be much rejoicing in EMAW territories following Johnson’s announcement. He is thought to be the cherry on top of an already exciting recruiting class that features three other coveted recruits from the Wichita area and two more from Kansas City.

With a talented quarterback now leading the way, perhaps K-State recruiting will heat up even more than it already has this summer.

It will be interesting to see how quickly Johnson can get on the field with the Wildcats. Nebraska transfer Adrian Martinez is the heir apparent to Skylar Thompson this season, but he has just one year of college eligibility remaining. The quarterback depth chart will be wide open when Johnson is a freshman, with Will Howard and Jake Rubley serving as his primary competition.

Johnson is coming off a sensational junior season at Maize in which he completed 56% of his passes for 2,550 yards and 20 touchdowns to go along with 1,080 yards and 22 touchdowns as a runner.

That earned him loads of recruiting attention — he had opportunities to play in every power conference. But the allure of playing two hours from where he grew up, for a team that recently wiped the floor with LSU at the Texas Bowl, was too good for him to pass up.

In the end, he decided to stay home.