Credit Danny Ainge with an assist for the latest verbal commitment to the BYU football program.

Jordan Johnson, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound cornerback from Springfield, Mass., has pledged to sign with the Cougars in February. He informed coach Bronco Mendenhall about his decision Thursday.

Jordan said he learned about BYU from his uncle, who works with Ainge, the former Cougar basketball star, and Danny's son, Austin, who also played at BYU. They are all employed by the Boston Celtics. Danny Ainge is the franchise's general manager.

"They had a lot of positive things to say about BYU, so I wanted to go out there and see it," said Johnson, who participated in BYU's non-padded camp. "I like everything there — the environment, the coaching staff. It was a great experience."

Johnson, who is enrolled at a prep school, said he had scholarship offers from Connecticut as well as three Division I-AA teams — New Hampshire, Northeastern University and Bryant University — all located in the New England area.

Of late, Boston College, Maryland and Tulsa have been showing interest in Johnson as well.

Though he's not LDS, Johnson said he'll fit in well at BYU. "I respect their religion and I know they respect mine," he said, explaining that his mother is a Jehovah's Witness and his dad is a Baptist.

Asked about his religious preference, Johnson replied, "I'm kind of confused. I'm not sure. I'm open to anything."

What was Mendenhall's reaction when Johnson called and told him he plans to attend BYU?

"He was ecstatic. He said he looked forward to coaching me and I told him that I was looking forward to playing for him."

BYU now has 19 commitments toward its 2010 recruiting class.

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