Mustang's Jacobe Johnson explains why he committed to OU football's 2023 class

·4 min read

MUSTANG — Jacobe Johnson anxiously waited inside a Mustang Bronco inflatable tunnel in the corner of the school’s football stadium as his commitment video played on the large-screen video board.

With Johnson’s football teammates lined up from the northeast pylon all the way up to the midfield logo, his voice echoed through the speakers as he thanked a number of people in the video, from family and friends to coaches and teachers.

Mustang was holding its Bring Out the Broncos Preview Night, and the home side of the stadium was packed.

After a little more than a minute into the video, Johnson wrapped things up, and the moment everyone had been waiting for had arrived.

“I would like to announce my commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at,” Johnson said in the video, pausing as the screen turned black.

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Everyone shifted their focus to the tunnel to see what would happen next.

It wasn’t long until OU’s fight song started blasting throughout the stadium as Johnson emerged and put on a red Sooner hat.

Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound defensive back and wide receiver, announced his commitment to the OU football team's 2023 recruiting class on Saturday night. A Rivals four-star prospect, Johnson has been heavily recruited the last few years and is No. 4 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the state’s top senior recruits. His list of top five schools included Alabama, Michigan, OU, Oklahoma State and Stanford.

Johnson's commitment raises OU's total to 20 players for the 2023 class and lifts the Sooners' national ranking to No. 9, according to Rivals. He is the second player from Oklahoma to commit to OU's 2023 class, joining McAlester running back and defensive back Erik McCarty.

Johnson had been leaning toward OU for a while.

“When I first got the offer, I kind of knew,” said Johnson, who will likely play on defense at OU.

A star in both football and basketball, Johnson received a football offer from the Sooners in the spring as a freshman and a basketball offer during the summer of the same year.

Johnson, who was born in Lawton before moving to Rush Springs and then Mustang for the start of high school, grew up as an OU fan.

“I wanted to go through the recruiting process to make sure,” he said.

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Johnson told The Oklahoman last month he’d like to play both football and basketball at the next level. He’ll definitely be a football player at OU, but his basketball future isn’t clear. Johnson had great seasons in both sports as a junior.

On the gridiron, he finished with 35 tackles, an interception, more than 1,000 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns. He helped Mustang reach the Class 6A-I semifinals and was named The Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Year. In basketball, Johnson averaged 20.9 points per game.

Also a star in track and field, he placed sixth this year in the long jump at the Class 6A state meet with a leap of 22-feet, 1-inch. As a sophomore, he placed second with a jump of 22-2½.

Despite all the success, Johnson has remained humble, Mustang defensive backs and assistant head coach Waleed Gaines said.

“I love that you are not a ‘me guy,’” Gaines said to Johnson on the microphone. “You guys are getting a young man that’s not going to be on Twitter, ‘hey, look at me,' all day.”

Johnson comes from an athletic family. His dad, Malcolm, was a star basketball player at Lawton. He was named The Oklahoman’s Super 5 Player of the Year in 1994, earned All-America honors at Seminole Junior College and played at TCU under Billy Tubbs.

Jacobe’s family was by his side as he walked out of the tunnel Saturday.

Now, he can focus fully on his senior year at Mustang.

“All the pressure’s off now,” he said.

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This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OU football: Mustang's Jacobe Johnson commits to Sooners' 2023 class