In recruiting Brauntae "Tae" Johnson — widely considered Indiana's top football and basketball high school recruit for the Class of 2024 — the best advice is to get in early on this kid.
On Thursday, University of Washington football recruiters made a scholarship offer to the 6-foot-3, 180-pound wide receiver, already rated a 4-star player, from North Side High School in Fort Wayne.
If that wasn't quite early enough, consider that Husky wide-receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard pitched a scholarship to Johnson 10 months ago on behalf of the Purdue Boilermakers, his employer at the time.
Purdue in West Lafayette is 115 miles from Fort Wayne.
So they know each other.
And now they've been re-introduced.
Johnson comes off a sophomore football season in which he caught 29 passes for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns for an unproductive 2-7 team, a slight decline from his freshman year of 36 receptions for 596 yards and 7 scores. No one disputes his talent level.
For North Side's basketball team, Johnson currently averages 19 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5 assists per game, this after coming up with 17 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists an outing as a freshman.
Since this is indeed Indiana, which is the land of Gene Hackman's Hoosiers and a basket in every other driveway, the automatic reaction is to assume that this guy will be a college basketball player before he ever pulls on a helmet or shoulder pads.
Not so fast.
"I just like both sports," Johnson told FOX 55 TV. "I won't look at which one I'm better at until I have to choose."
For now, his football suitors consist of Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, Purdue and Washington.
He's still real young.
Fort Wayne, it should be noted is smack in the middle of Big Ten country, about halfway between Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Columbus, Ohio. Between Michigan and Ohio State.
Johnson won't be overlooked.
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