WESTWOOD—On Friday July 24, the UCLA Bruins Football organization received its first verbal commitment from the class of 2017 in the form of four-star linebacker Rahyme Johnson. As of July 25, the 6 foot and 4 inches tall, 210 pound athlete, is ranked No. 189 on the 2017 Scout 300, which lists the top 300 football recruits from high schools around the nation in order of desirability to colleges and universities. Among linebackers, Johnson is rated as the 16th best in the country and in the top 3 of California.
Johnson denied competing offers from University of Utah, University of Washington, and Washington State University. He cited his future school’s location and academic reputation as helping him in making his commitment decision. He also is a self-proclaimed fan of the team. “I’ve definitely always been more of a UCLA guy than a USC guy,” Johnson said in a interview with BruinReportOnline.
He is also said to have gotten close with Scott White, the Linebackers/Special Teams coach at UCLA. In the same interview, Johnson spoke of White saying, “Coach Scott is a great coach so I would love to play with him.”
Johnson also expressed his dreams of having a future in the NFL and his belief that a college career in UCLA would best help him achieve that. The Los Angeles native admitted that when he was much younger he envisioned himself playing for Boise State University in Idaho.
The official signing day for the class of 2017 is still over one year away. It is not unlikely that Johnson will still receive offers from other schools.
Johnson stated, “It’s always great to hear from other schools and different coaching staffs that want me, but I’m pretty sure I’m done. I’m 100 percent on UCLA.”
Johnson currently attends the Bishop Mora Salesian High School, a Catholic institution, in Los Angeles. The same school has produced several high-profile football recruits, including 2014 graduate Jamarder Cobb, now a linebacker at University of Arizona, and 2013 graduate Jermaine Kelly, a defensive back at the University of Washington.