Top 2017 QB target Hunter Johnson picks Tennessee

IRISH STEW

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame went all in on five-star quarterback Hunter Johnson.

On Sunday, the Irish busted.

Johnson, the top quarterback in the 2017 class, verbally committed to Tennessee. The 6-foot-3, 193-pound product of Brownsburg (Ind.) High School discussed his decision with Steve Wiltfong, 247Sports director of recruiting.

“I’ve been in contact with Tennessee for so long now and I know so much about Tennessee, I didn’t see a reason why I wouldn’t commit,” Johnson told 247Sports. “That’s what I told my parents, why wouldn’t I go here? I’ve always felt really, really comfortable with Tennessee.”

Tennessee became the first school to offer Johnson a scholarship before his sophomore season. Notre Dame offered him earlier this year in March.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford made Johnson his top priority in the 2017 class. No other quarterbacks in the class have received offers from Notre Dame.

Johnson visited Notre Dame multiple times this year — the latest coming at the Irish Invasion in June — but it wasn't enough to get him to stay in his home state.

Both Rivals and 247Sports peg Johnson as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the 2017 class. Rivals ranks Johnson as a five-star recruit and No. 4 overall in the class. 247Sports slates Johnson as a four-star prospect and No. 11 overall.

Congratulations to @HunterPh413 on his recent commitment to the University of Tennessee!

— BHS Football (@BHSdogsfootball) August 23, 2015//

Notre Dame quarterback target Hunter Johnson, a junior, steps back to throw during Irish Invasion in Notre Dame Stadium. (SBT Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ)