DICKINSON, Texas (BVM) — Marquis Johnson grew up about 45 minutes south of Houston, but he did not grow up on the Houston Cougars or the Texas Longhorns. For Johnson, the Oregon Ducks were must-see TV because of the electricity provided on a weekly basis by star receiver De’Anthony Thomas.
He got to see Thomas shine on a national level and knew that was something he wanted the chance to do.
Years later, Johnson is now a four-star recruit at Dickinson High School according to On3 and the No. 37 wide receiver in the country.
As he watched Thomas, he was also working on his own craft at a young age to give himself the opportunity to have a similar path.
“I started off when I was a kid,” Johnson said. “Ever since, it (football) has been a big part of my life and something I’ve wanted to do.”
Johnson continued to work as he got older and was ultimately rewarded with a flurry of offers following his junior season.
It was a little surreal for the Texas prospect, especially with how sudden the process was.
“It was like, ‘Wow, it’s here,’” Johnson said of his recruitment. “I always dreamed of being a DI athlete or being an athlete in college. It was stressful, but then I got the hang of it.”
But before Johnson started up his senior campaign, he knew where he wanted to go. On June 13, he announced his commitment to the University of Missouri.
“Even before I got there, the coaches were always engaging with me,” Johnson said. “Then when I first got there, they treated me like I was family. I love the people, I love the environment. It just felt like I was home already.”
Within the span of a couple of years, Johnson went from having no offers to being an SEC football commit.
“It’s new to me,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t always a DI guy. I just have to get used to it.”
But it’s not by coincidence that the offers started rolling in for Johnson. Entering his junior season, a switch was flipped. Johnson realized the clock was ticking, so if he wanted to achieve his football goals, a change would be needed. And he did just that.
“I have to work at everything I do,” Johnson said. “I can’t just be lazy and not do it. I have to go and get it. I had to realize the hard way that nothing gets handed to you.”
Despite his turnaround on the football field, he is even more proud of his turnaround in the classroom. Once a kid who did not take his grades seriously, Johnson realized the importance of his education and how it impacts his future, both on and off the gridiron.
“These past two years, my grades are better than ever,” Johnson said. “That’s a big accomplishment for me.”
If everything goes to plan for Johnson, he hopes to have an All-SEC career in Columbia before becoming an NFL draft selection.
This will help him accomplish his primary goal of being able to take care of his family.