Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rock Chalk, Bobcat: Basehor's Ben Johnson signs with KU


When listing the accomplishments of Basehor-Linwood Bobcats student-athlete Ben Johnson, it takes time.

He was one of the most talented football players Basehor-Linwood's ever had, playing tight end and defensive end for four years. If that's not enough, he's started varsity on the boys basketball team the past two years.

He scored the game-winning basket in last year's state title game against Ottawa to help the Bobcats secure their second 4A boys basketball championship in four years.

Oh, and he holds the school-record for discus throw.

Add one more accomplishment after today - signing with a Big 12 school to play college football.

Johnson signed with the Kansas Jayhawks today, becoming part of a class that Jayhawks head coach Charlie Weis hopes will make the program more competitive in the long-run.

“We know there are multiple holes to fill here,” Weis said at a press conference today. “That’s no big secret."

Hoping to fill one of those holes on offense is Basehor's Johnson, who will wear the #84 jersey at KU and is expected to play tight-end.

For Johnson, playing at KU has been a dream, meaning his recruiting process was over the minute Weis offered Johnson a scholarship.

"It feels great it's over," Johnson said. "It was an easy recruiting process but it took a while to finalize. To finally sign is great."

Along with the dream of playing for the Jayhawks, Johnson said Weis' offense appeals to him.

"Just the type of offense they run," Johnson said. "It really stands out."

Johnson will be a part of a recruiting class that's expected to edge KU closer to a bowl-contender. Some of the top junior college prospects signed with the Jayhawks today.

"We have a big weight on our shoulders," Johnson said. "We're really excited."

Also signing today at Basehor-Linwood were Drew Potter and Andrew Lillich. Lillich signed with Butler Community College, while Potter signed with South Dakota. Combining Johnson, Potter and Colorado's Jess Hiss, three Bobcats have signed with Division 1 teams the past two years.

"It was an amazing time playing with those guys on the field," Johnson said.

Basehor won three Kaw Valley League titles in the four years Johnson played varsity. And as much as he's already accomplished at Basehor-Linwood High School, there's one more opportunity left.

"I'm still not done yet," Johnson said, referring to Basehor's efforts to repeat as the 4A basketball state champs.