Garrison Johnson, the top-rated recruit in North Texas' 2019 signing class, decommitted on Tuesday, just hours before the beginning of the early signing period.
Johnson announced his decision on his Twitter account:
"This journey started in April with my verbal and I never took it lightly or for granted," Johnson wrote. "With that being said after a long talk with my family and UNT staff I will be decommitting from the University of North Texas and reopening my recruitment."
Johnson spoke about his decision a short time later and said there were a few factors that led to his decision, including the fact he did not want to sign during the early period.
"I was not comfortable signing on Wednesday," Johnson said. "I didn’t want to sign anywhere until February. They pressured me to sign early. I didn’t feel comfortable with that."
Johnson said there were other factors in his decision that he couldn't discuss. He said UNT is still an option.
Johnson's commitment to UNT seemed tenuous at best from the start, despite his connections to the program. Johnson played with UNT quarterback Kason Martin at Manvel.
“I am verbally committed, but I am still open in case God offers me another situation that I feel better about,” Johnson said when he committed. “North Texas is where I feel best now.”
Johnson was highly recruited before committing to UNT and had offers form Syracuse, Indiana, Virginia and SMU. He is rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports. The site has him listed at No. 77 on its composite list of the top running backs in the Class of 2019.
Johnson visited Syracuse earlier this year:
Johnson said he will now explore his options.
"I have been talking to Syracuse and Virginia," Johnson said. "Other schools are talking to me and saying that if they don’t get another guy they could give me an offer."
Johnson is set to visit Syracuse again in January. Syracuse quarterbacks coach Kirk Martin is the former head coach at Manvel and is Kason Martin's father.
Johnson said he could find out more about what his options are following the opening day of the early signing period.
UNT has 21 players committed after Johnson backed out of his pledge. The Mean Green still have Conference USA's top recruiting class. Oscar Adaway, a three-star prospect from Little Rock, is now the lone running back in UNT's class.