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July 8, 2014

Johnson III headed to UCLA

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Stephen Johnson III talked to a coach close to him around 4:45 p.m. and didn't necessarily say he was going to UCLA, but made it clear that nothing had changed in the last few days.

That meant the Bruins were in really good shape because the San Leandro, Calif., athlete has talked most about UCLA recently and that's exactly what happened Tuesday when he committed to the Pac-12 school at The Opening.

"(UCLA plans to use me) as a slot receiver/DB, so I plan to play kick returner as well," Johnson said. "Mainly athlete. Depending on when I get down there we'll see what happens."

It was a really close call for the three-star recruit, who could play wide receiver or cornerback at the next level. He should also be used in the return game.

Oregon played a serious factor in his recruitment for a long time and Arizona State and California were also under major consideration in the weeks leading up to his announcement. Duke was considered one of the dark horses earlier on.

Johnson, a 5-foot-11, 188-pound athlete who also reportedly whispered to UCLA commit Josh Rosen that he would be joining him in Westwood on Tuesday at The Opening, shined at the Rivals Camp Series Northern California this spring.

Although numerous Pac-12 programs were exceptionally close to landing his commitment, it's not a major surprise that Johnson picked the Bruins.

For a while, he's talked up the program, its location and the coaching staff. Oregon, Arizona State and Cal gave a good run - and plenty of SEC programs have started to get involved recently - but it was UCLA that won out for his services.

Adam Gorney is a West Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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