Usually each weekday morning Leesburg, Virginia resident Nick Johns travels about an hour-and-fifteen minutes to Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC. "It's a tough commute, but you get used to it."
Yesterday However, the 2015 quarterback took a trip to Blacksburg, his first since visiting for the Maryland game last season. Nick told me he has scholarship offers from Maryland, Virginia, and N.C. State, but Virginia Tech has not offered as of yet.
"I'm still waiting [on an offer from Tech], I was kind of expecting one today.
"Coach Loeffler came to watch me throw about a month ago, Coach Loeffler and Coach Moorehead. He said he was impressed. He wanted to get me down to school, and he wanted to pick my brain apart and see what I knew, see what I need to work on, and see how I had been coached up these past 3 years. I thought I impressed him a lot, our relationship is going to continue, and hopefully I pick one up soon."
Nick plans to commit to a school by late May. "I want to get affiliated with a program and commit somewhere where I can start recruiting other players from around my area. The quarterback is always the centerpiece of the recruiting class, and I think he really has to start recruiting other players to his school, especially offensive linemen and wide receivers. I need to know the system. I just think it would be better for me to commit a little early."
Gonzaga runs a similar offense to Stanford, because of the connection with alumnus and senior Cardinal signal caller Kevin Hogan. "I probably throw like 15 times, 20 times a game. I'd like to throw more, but whatever helps our team win."
Coach Moorehead is Nick's primary recruiter. When I asked him about their relationship he told me, "He's been recruiting me for about two years now. He's been in and out of our school a few times to see us, and I think our relationship is really strong right now. It's been a long time, so we know each other really well. He's a great coach and a great guy."
He believes his biggest strength on the field is to extend plays from inside and outside the pocket.
"I think I'm a pretty undervalued runner. I can run the ball when needed. I run a 4.7, faster than most quarterbacks, and my size [6-3, 220] allows me to take on defenders when running the ball. That and being able to sit in the pocket and take hits while delivering the ball."
Nick's working to improve his throwing motion. Specifically he's trying to stop locking his knee out when throwing which prevents him from transferring his power, and is capping his maximum velocity.
"I'm throwing with all my arm, rather than hips. I'm working on that right now, and I think I'm getting better every day. My ball velocity is increasing every day, everything is looking a lot sharper."
Two factors will most determine where Nick decides to commit: coaching stability and an opportunity for early playing time.
"I really just want stability within the coaching staff. Virginia Tech, Coach Beamer's been there forever, it's great. I think Coach Loeffler and the whole coaching staff's going to be there for a while.
"I want to play early, like redshirt freshman, redshirt sophomore. Those are probably the two biggest things."
He said of Town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, "I like the colonial look, small town, big college. I like how it has a lot of people and the fan base is great. I went to the Maryland game, that wasn't the biggest game, but it was still packed."