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July 29, 2005Two for one packages don't often come as big as this, but for the Oklahoma Sooners an unofficial visit from one of the top junior college defensive linemen sparked him to commit and his teammate that was leaning heavy to the Sooners to also make it official.
Meet the newest Sooners - defensive tackle Jeremy Gibbs and defensive end Tim Johnson.
"I got to talking to the coaches, and it just felt right," Gibbs, a 6-foot-3, 285-pound defensive tackle at Miami (Okla.) Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. "I spent some time with the coaches and looked around what it was like to be there on campus, and I liked what I saw. I had other offers and really liked Oklahoma State, but nobody treated us like the way that coach (Jackie) Shipp did.
"He made it clear that we were a big priority for them, and he just treated us with nothing but class."
Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound strongside defensive end, said the overall strength of the Sooner program led him to make the commitment.
"The football program is always up there competing for national championships, and that's something big for me," Johnson said. "I wanted to play for a winner, and when you combine that with everything else, it just made sense for me to go ahead and commit.
"I was already leaning that way, and when I heard that Jeremy committed, I decided it was time for me to go ahead and do it, too."
Gibbs was actually on his second unofficial to visit to Norman, and Johnson was back home with his family in Homewood, Ill. He's been spending the summer in Illinois, where he is originally from and is expected to report back to NEO around August 9.
"All of the attention felt pretty good, it just feels like my hard work has paid off," Johnson said. "NEO is a hard school and I think the work I've put in to my grades and as a player are worth it with all of the attention."
Johnson had offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Kansas State, LSU, Oklahoma State and Tulsa when he committed.
Gibbs and Johnson, roommates at NEO, said they plan on remaining roommates at OU.
"We're going to get an apartment and all be together," Gibbs said. "It's going to be the place to be. We're going to get Chris Patterson down here, and we might try to get Brandon Keith to be in it too. We know it'll be a real good time with some good friends."
Patterson, the former five-star linebacker, said in the past he's likely returning to Oklahoma, the school that he signed with out of high school but to not list him as a commitment quite yet.
"He's coming," Johnson said. "OU wants him, and we're going to make sure he's coming."