Eighth-ranked junior college prospect Gary Johnson selects Texas

On Friday, Tom Herman landed his biggest commitment since being hired at Texas.

Gary Johnson, the No. 8 junior college prospect in the ESPN JC50, committed to Texas over Oregon, Louisville and Arizona State.

Johnson made 82 tackles in 2016 for Dodge City (Kansas) Community College. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound playmaking linebacker -- and one-time Alabama verbal -- made an official visit to Texas last weekend. The Longhorns immediately became Johnson's favorite following the trip to Austin with his mother.

Johnson's commitment is the ninth for the Longhorns since Herman was hired, including Under Armour All-America Game running back verbal Toneil Carter, but this is the most impactful. Johnson is expected to be an immediate starter at a position of need for a Texas defense that ranked 94th in 2016.

The commitment of Johnson, who has three years to play two, comes at the perfect time with a number of top targets for the Longhorns making official visits this weekend, including ESPN 300 No. 34 and Under Armour All-America Game standout K'Lavon Chaisson, and four-star cornerback Javelin Guidry, the Texas state 100-meter champion in 2016.

Texas sported the No. 35 recruiting class prior to Johnson's verbal. The Longhorns remain in the mix for Chaisson, ESPN 300 offensive tackle Stephan Zabie, ESPN 300 cornerback Chevin Calloway, Guidry and former Notre Dame receiver commitment Jordan Pouncey, among others.