Utah’s 2013 recruiting class did not feature any players rated as four-star recruits according to the 247Sports Composite Ranking (the highest rated player was junior college wide receiver Andre Lewis followed by defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei). However, Utah has bolstered that class with three transfers who were all rated in the top 101: No. 80 quarterback Cooper Bateman, who graduate transferred to Utah from Alabama, No. 91 defensive end Kylie Fitts, who transferred to Utah after his freshman season at UCLA, and No. 101 quarterback Troy Williams, who came to Utah via Santa Monica Community College after transferring there from Washington. Another highly rated 2013 recruit is on the transfer market as well, No. 151 cornerback John Johnson has announced he is transferring from UCLA. Johnson, out of Fresno (Calif.) Central East, was rated the No. 16 cornerback in the 2013 recruiting class. If his last name and high school remind Utah fans of a certain highly rated 2017 Utah signee, it is because John is the older brother of Jaylon Johnson.
Jim Mora said #UCLA CB Johnny Johnson will graduate and will look to transfer. Had been a starting CB earlier this week.— Edward Lewis (@Edward__Lewis) April 8, 2017
Johnson redshirted as a freshman at UCLA. He did not appear in any games as a redshirt freshman for the Bruins in 2014. However, as a redshirt sophomore in 2015, he appeared in 10 games, including five starts. He recorded a career-high seven tackles against Colorado and intercepted one pass against Oregon State. In 2016, he started against Utah and appeared in eight games on the season, recording six total tackles. While he was not a consistent starter for UCLA, he was part of a deep, talented position group. If he were to transfer to Utah, he would bring talent and experience.
Utah graduated four cornerbacks from the 2016 team and also had free safety Marcus Williams declare early for the 2017 NFL Draft. Adding a talented veteran player would be a huge boost for the Utah secondary for the 2017 season. For John, Utah would offer a player the rare opportunity to play football with his brother in college. This, in addition to the opportunity for playing time as a senior, could be reasons that lead Johnson to transfer to Utah.
Speaking of Jaylon Johnson, he has been hard at work getting his body into even better shape for college. He wants to play early, and with his size and skill, this is very likely especially with so many openings in the secondary.