Top Landing Spots for Johnny Wilson, CFB's 6'6" 5-Star WR Recruit for 2020
Pac-12 schools are working hard to keep 5-star receiver Johnny Wilson on the West Coast, but a couple of blue-blood programs are looking to steal the California wideout.
Wilson, who has collected 2,426 yards and 35 touchdowns over the last three seasons, boasts a list of 36 scholarship offers.
In late January, though, he trimmed the group of contenders to five.
The following order is subjective but based on Wilson's finalists. Factors include coaching, proximity, likelihood of national contention, and the expected outlooks at quarterback and wide receiver.
5. UCLA Bruins
Location, location, location.
UCLA is likely pounding that phrase as part of the recruiting pitch for Wilson, whose high school is less than 25 miles away.
The Bruins also have a potential star in quarterback in Dorian Thompson-Robinson, so that appeal is clear. Plus, the offense will lose Theo Howard after 2019. UCLA has plenty of opportunity and an apparent path to immediate playing time.
But will Chip Kelly's squad compete? His debut season was a nightmare, and his first recruiting class lacked high-end prospects. UCLA is significantly lower than Wilson's other finalists in this category.
4. Oregon Ducks
Oregon is viewed as a team on the rise with Mario Cristobal, who recently signed the best recruiting class in program history.
That potential will be tested in 2019, the final season of quarterback Justin Herbert's eligibility. His looming departure is worth noting, since his replacement―likely Tyler Shough―has little college experience. While he could be great, he's unproven.
But if that situation doesn't concern Wilson, Oregon is the second-closest finalist and has a favorable depth chart. Beyond junior-to-be Jaylon Redd, the Ducks have no established options at receiver.
Wilson could join former high school teammate Mycah Pittman, a 4-star Oregon signee in 2019, and try to elevate the unit.
3. Texas Longhorns
Texas is on the brink of contending nationally. The Longhorns haven't truly made that final ascent, but they defeated Oklahoma last season and ended with a smackdown of Georgia.
Wilson sees the upside and apparently doesn't mind the distance to Austin, per Jeff Howe of 247Sports.
"I also like the location," Wilson said. "Not too far from home and Texas football is big-time, and I think I could really thrive there."
The quarterback situation is probably OK, though it's uncertain if Sam Ehlinger will be there in 2020. He could decide to chase the NFL after his junior year but isn't a top-tier prospect. No matter who is throwing the ball, the Longhorns will have major production to replace.
Collin Johnson, Devin Duvernay and John Burt will all be seniors this fall. Texas signed an impressive group of receivers in both 2018 and 2019, so the depth chart is stacked. They―like Wilson―are all projections right now, but a logjam at the position is possible.
2. Washington Huskies
Washington is intriguing for its upside.
After reaching the College Football Playoff in 2016, the Huskies have won 10 games in back-to-back seasons. Chris Petersen is a master at developing players, and he's starting to raise the initial talent level with regular top-25 recruiting classes.
But the Dawgs will need a definite go-to target. They're set to lose Aaron Fuller and Andre Baccellia after 2019. The unknown is whether quarterback Jacob Eason will also depart. Granted, the early expectation is he'll declare for the 2020 draft.
Even if Eason pursues the NFL, the quarterback room has a few highly recruited prospects who've been working with Petersen for a couple of years. Washington has earned the benefit of the doubt.
1. Ohio State Buckeyes
Just like Texas, Ohio State hadn't extended an offer to Wilson until December 2018 yet quickly vaulted to his final group anyway.
The Buckeyes have a major advantage comparatively, too.
None of Wilson's other finalists have a similar sustained run of excellence. Washington is the closest, but the program is just three years removed from consecutive six-loss campaigns. Ohio State's seven straight 11-plus-win seasons should be hugely attractive.
OSU also has generally positive outlooks at quarterback and receiver. Justin Fields could be a star, and the offense will lose three important targets following the 2019 season.
Proximity doesn't play in the Buckeyes' favor, but they're the most established team and are most likely to feature a star QB when Wilson is on campus.