2017 receiver Josh Johnson decommits from Indiana #iufb

The first player to commit to Indiana’s 2017 recruiting has decided to pursue other options.

Arkansas receiver Josh Johnson announced Monday that he has decommitted from IU. Johnson originally gave a verbal pledge to coach Kevin Wilson in November and visited Bloomington for the program’s junior day on March 6.

Since committing to IU, Johnson picked up a handful of new offers. Notre Dame extended an offer in mid-February, as did NC State, Vanderbilt, Illinois and Kansas State. Johnson, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound native of Maumelle, Ark., is considered a three-star prospect in the 247 Sports composite.

“I want to truly thank the Hoosier family and coaching staff for everything they have done for me and my family!!” Johnson wrote in a message posted to his Twitter account on Monday. “After talking with my parents and really thinking it out, I have decided to open my recruitment back up and decommit from Indiana University.”

His decommitment leaves Indiana with four players verbally committed to IU for 2017. Johnson’s loss hurts what is considered to be an exceptionally strong start to the recruiting cycle for the Hoosiers. Despite his departure, IU continues to have a solid foundation to the class. It features four-star Ohio receiver Lynn Bowden, three-star Avon linebacker Bryant Fitzgerald, three-star Carmel defensive end Britt Beery and three-star Florida tackle Tyler Knight.


  1. As the saying goes, the recruitment process doesn’t really begin until you commit someplace.

  2. What the young man meant to tweet was, “I want to truly thank the Hoosier family and coaching staff for serving themselves up as a stalking horse in my recruitment. The exposure I got from committing to IU helped me get other offers from what I perceive to be better football programs. My verbal commitment was just a tactic to motivate other schools to recruit me. As everyone knows, verbal commitments made by teenagers are completely worthless.”

    Why does anyone bother to pay attention to verbal commitments?

  3. For you, Podunker, you know nothing about my son, Josh Johnson, and what I have to say to you for the comment you just made would blow this news feed up. But what I will say, is that you’re a lier about everything you posted…Josh is who is because of the God-given talent he was born with and continue to perfect. God exhalts him in all that he is and all that he does…Josh has a life, and I suggest you get you one.

  4. We do know 2 things about your son ma’am…his mother can’t spell and he gave his word to play at Indiana and he changed his mind…in my book that means he isn’t a young man of his word.

  5. For you, Bart…I don’t even have to wonder if you’ve ever given your word to do anything and changed your mind…what does that say about what you are. You can say what you want to about me and my spelling, but I can tell you this, I can say this, he was a young man enough to talk with the coaches about his decision before announcing it, which says more about him as a young man than you are as a grown, nothing better to do than to say hurtful things about a student who is still learning life. You too, should get a life because apparently you don’t have one either just like poddonkey. We still have a relationship with the coaches and will continue to but these kind of things bring out what people are really like…think I’ll talk with Coach Johns about these comments just to let him know that maybe this really wasn’t the place for us the way grown ups try and treat still young teenagers. By the way, what have you contributed to this life…other than being a “bully” which we don’t tolerate.

  6. We here at IU are tired of players that have their mommy’s fight social media battles because someone says something critical about their kid. Just wait until he drops his first pass at his newfound university and thousands of fans come down on him. You better brush up on your typing skills if you plan on defending your little baby boy on every fan blog.

  7. As we’ve all learned over the last few years, getting a verbal is a long way from getting ink on a L.O.I. in February of 2017. There’s only a 50/50 chance that Wilson will be IU’s coach on signing day, 2017, so I’m not going to hold my breath until then. This recruiting “news” is virtually meaningless. But I’m glad the kid likes IU’s campus.

    Maybe the young man started talking to more programs after assessing the climate and opinions concerning the precariousness of Wilson’s future…?

    Hard to blame a kid so young …What is he..? 16 or 17 years old? Coaches are undermined and changed with the frequency of dirty diapers at IU Football….Many defensive coordinators aren’t even around long enough to be potty trained. When the post of skepticism quoted above was placed like a pile of undermining Scoop, we hadn’t even been given a trail run without the pampers to take a first push at a bowl….

    Seems to me we could cut some slack for a kid that made a verbal as a Junior in high school …..IU’s administration has likely changed its mind four more times on coaching staffs than anything of major consequence this young man has done in his life to add to the irreparable harm he’s brought to our stable football house.

    If our football program had 1/4 the loyalty to its coaching staffs as is found across the street at IU Basketball, maybe we could realistically execute a teenager( barely making up his mind for a prom date nonetheless) because of his lack of faith and lack of trust in our pigskin leaders..

  8. Every year 3-4 guys decommit from other schools and end up at IU. I don’t see anyone on this forum saying those kids shouldn’t be welcomed to the team. Early commitments benefit the school and the coaching staff but have little benefit to the player. Players would be better off waiting until all interested schools have made their pitch. Josh Johnson didn’t do that. But I can’t blame a 17 year old for having a crush on our school after a recruiting trip. Best of luck to Josh Johnson and maybe, just maybe, he’ll find IU is still the best place for his talents once he’s taken all his school visits. And Mrs. Johnson, you don’t need to defend your son to anyone on this site. Hope you and your son weigh your options carefully and make the best choice for his athletic career, and more importantly, his education.

    1. To add a little clarity, it appears that Josh Johnson tweeted his commitment to Iowa State Monday night after the decommitment from Indiana Monday morning. It would seem the Hoosiers are not at all in the picture.

  9. Dear Mrs. Johnson: Bart’s comments make me embarrassed to be an IU grad. Grown men who are making millions of dollars a year are out to sweet-talk teenage boys into making decisions not in the interest of these lads, but rather in the interest of said millionaire coaches. But you will be miserable if you respond to all the nonsense that will be written about him over the next few years by people who don’t know the first thing about him. Mrs. Johnson, I’m a parent, too, so I know it’s difficult not to respond to things, but I’m sure you know that someday Josh will have to fight his own battles- he will win them by having confidence that you are in his corner, rather than by you jumping in the ring and slugging it out for him. I can’t speak for anyone else, but my hopes and wishes are that Josh does well wherever he goes and whatever he chooses to do. “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

  10. Ms. Johnson, I’m sure your son is a fine young man. I appreciate you defending him. However, I don’t believe what I wrote was an attack against him. My daughter was heavily recruited to play Division 1 soccer some years ago. She had numerous offers for a full-ride scholarship. As you may know, it is, or at least was at the time, unusual in women’s collegiate soccer for a young women to receive an offer for a “full-ride” athletic scholarship. She was so excited when she received her first scholarship offer, she wanted to accept it immediately. It didn’t take long for her to realize other option would be presented to her. During that thrilling process, the only thing I insisted on was that my daughter thoroughly research the opportunities presented to her, take her time to consider what was most important to her, ask God for guidance, and then make an informed decision. You see, her mother and I insisted that once she committed to a school, she had to honor her commitment. Because, and perhaps unlike college football, there were other people, especially young women, that would be affected by her decision. It would not have been fair to the other young women whose futures would have been affected if my daughter committed to a school and then backed out of it.

    I suggest that you have an opportunity to teach or reinforce two important life lessons to your son. One is to take a lot of time in making important, life-changing decisions (like where to go to college), And the second is, once a person makes a commitment to another person or group of people, he or she needs to do everything possible to honor that commitment. Through the course of what I hope will be your son’s long life, I believe those two life-lessons will be far more valuable to him compared to what college football team he plays for. I wish you and your son good health and good fortune. And hopefully, in our lifetime, the NCAA will modify the rules governing recruiting so as to encourage young people to make fully informed decisions and then to honor their commitments.

  11. davis, really? What are the odds that Josh Johnson’s actual mother subscribes to the Hoosier Scoop and actually went on line to post those comments? Me thinks not. Me thinks those posts were harmlessly fraudulent attempts to have some fun at others’ expense. Let’s not be so easily embarrassed.

  12. Once my kids committed to compete for their respective colleges that effectively ended the recruiting process.

    What Josh did is certainly not unusual but it certainly is unfortunate. I hope this is a learning experience for him and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

  13. There is certainly no more harm by this change of heart than when a kid transfers from a program or bolts to the NBA/NFL(often in very narcissistic and immature fashion….Sometimes recruits pushed by selfish coaches because there is a supposed “better” recruit/transfer on the horizon).

    Coaches scholly crunch and manipulate rosters with often very little heart and concern for kids already fully invested and in love with a school and teammates…Nobody cries in their beer when shrewd cold moves are made that leaves a Hoosier stripped of a uniform he/she was once begged to don….Let’s stop the high and mighty…..

  14. I think the odds of it being “Josh Johnson’s actual mother” are no less a truth than the many claims by Scoop regulars of their stupendously gifted athletic kids that held numerous scholarship offers…blah..blah..blah. Why does your anonymity and moniker hold superior weight in level its honesty. If we only knew all the details of your household and perfect world to match the standard you place on this contributor claiming to be Josh’s mother.

  15. I am Josh’s mom who only subscribed to respond as I knew the nasty comments would come, but more importantly at this point to thank the positive and encouraging human beings that posted. And by the way, Josh is 16. But truly reading some of these comments, makes me glad for his decision. I met some really nice people on the 3 visits, but they come far and few. I’m thinking more evil and nasty than not…not a place I would want him to be alone and will share this as well with Coach Wilson and Coach Johns. This little stint let me see what’s really going on. Josh has not and will not see any of these posts as he knows nothing about it and grateful! Thank you to the ones that were kind, and praying for you others.

  16. My oldest son is 16. He’s had 3 girlfriends and 2 different hair styles in the past year. Commit to a college? He can’t even commit to a pair of shoes for more than a few months. The old men on this site shouldn’t get too worked up when they find out that athletically gifted kids are still just kids. Best of luck to Josh and his family.

  17. Last week, I de-committed from taking over is dictator of Chesterton, Indiana. I just felt that Aleppo, Syria had much more promise.

    Glad my mommy didn’t come in to tell off all the wonderful citizens of Chesterton. I for one don’t think that Mitch McGary is evil, nor the other good folks that reside there and probably love their mommies too. I love my mommy.

    I gave Jeremy my mom’s email to preemptively ban her so she wouldn’t come here dropping bombs.

  18. I also stole and hid the keys for my mom’s helicopter. AAA don’t service helicopters.

  19. “Doesn’t”

    Ugh…don’t try to post when your mom is calling you over and over and over looking for the keys to her helicopter.

  20. My mom is dead, Double Down. She died from cancer….Actually had three bouts of cancer.
    She could kick your ass on the worst day of the disease that took her. She was fun. She was classy…and she was forever beautifully imperfect. Made immeasurable sacrifices of her own dreams to raise a family and be true to the love of her life…She would never have any time for this sort of thing…Loved to sketch…Always looked forward to a new Stephen King book ….Loved basketball…Loved chatting on the phone about basketball…Marvelous cook…No better cook.. .Loved her grandkids…and they simply cherished her. She was steady and a rock for all of us…She was also very cutting with her wit….She grew up during the Great Depression in Southern Indiana….Her mom died very young and her dad became her everything…..Life is too short for all…

  21. If you took that as a shot to you and your mom, Harv, you’re narcissism has no bounds.

    Sorry your mom passed. Mine is still with us, but she has cancer too. She’s fighting it pretty hard and kicking its butt. She’s a tough cookie too. They just don’t make em like our mom’s generation anymore.

    But I’m sure, even on her worst day, she’d never jump on an internet site to fight strangers who criticized me regardless of how childish and petty.

    I’m not sorry, however, for passing on being dictator of Chesterton.

  22. Hope your mom beats it, DD.

    My mom was sort of a narcissist…..She did enjoy stealing the room for attention. But…deep, deep down in the well of her soul was a fear of loneliness and hunger born of those very difficult times of childhood. And somewhere we find we are all as easily afraid. I don’t crucify a mom for doing anything on behalf of her son…no matter how foolish or shallow…or misguided….or strong…or weak. Maybe she needs to do it for reasons her own fears…

    But, at the end of the day, this was about a 16-year-old kid. I don’t even really care. There is no irreparable harm to me in what he decides to do with his life. And I’m certainly not going to use this site to preach of how my family is above someone else in the methods of teaching “life lessons.” I don’t think it gets anymore narcissistic than talking down to a mom that has carried a child for 9 months..And we don’t even know the circumstances with regard to a father being present in this young man’s life nor the full amount of support and guidance that every child could sure use to love and confide.

    My mom was a tough cookie, but she also had a very tough husband to ride out a lot of storms in life….

  23. PO- Maybe I am a sucker to believe it’s actually been Mrs. Johnson posting here, but what I really find hard to believe is that people such as “Bart” (real or not, there are others like him) who get so worked up over the commit/decommit thing by teenagers who are being told that they are the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel by people who decidedly do not have the child’s best interest at heart.

    Actually, I thought your post was sharp, funny, and maybe even accurate- but then again, I’m not Josh’s mom. Really.

  24. Getting worked up about the actions of teenagers is something I have always shunned. Hope the kid has a happy, long and successful career wherever he goes.

  25. Kids bounce back so fast…..Changes of heart should be natural and embraced… It’s so-called “adults” that cling to routine and never let go.

    And no sooner than he gets his head on straight, there will be some beautiful catch sitting at desk across a couple aisles of a classroom to lure his innocent heart and eye… and twist his mind in a thousand manipulated new hormonal directions having little to do with mom or football…Oh, how steady the thoughts and desires of a life in its most fertile garden.

  26. I am guessing the other recruits coming to IU may have caused the young man to wonder about his potential playing time. We have a history of producing good quarterbacks and receivers so competition at these skill levels are at there highest. I am a hoosier native now living in Iowa and the ISU program is doing poorly but have a new coach for the fall. ISU has a very similar football history to IU. The general feel is they were down, went down even further, now hoping they have indeed reached the bottom. Hopefully they are. Likely, it will be an opportunity to come into a program and immediately get playing time. They picked up a decent mid-major coach. You can’t put much weight on a 2017 verbal commitment. We have tipped kids the other way right before LOI signing. Best of luck, Josh.

  27. “I am Josh’s mom who only subscribed to respond as I knew the nasty comments would come,” Sorry, but my BS detector went up even higher as a result of this comment. This is not credible and therefore I remain highly skeptical. But if, by some remote chance those comments were written by Josh’s mother, if you think the comments posted above are nasty, when your son begins playing football for a college team, I recommend that you avoid the comments section of various on-line sports media outlets.

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