The confident and brash John was introduced in the fourth season as a student of California University, where he, Steve Sanders, and several others shared a prestigious fraternity, the KEG House. Though he and Steve were friendly at first, John's attitude eventually made them competitive.
John had known Kelly Taylor prior to her enrollment in the school, and began romancing her as they became reacquainted. In time, Kelly's feelings for John, among other factors, led her to separate from her boyfriend Dylan, stating that she no longer wanted to go steady. However, Kelly eventually found herself reluctant to sleep with John. When John expressed anger, and indicated that he was most interested in Kelly for her looks, Kelly stated that he hadn't changed at all, and that he didn't know the first thing about what it meant to care for someone. She then stormed out of the room.
After John had secretly set Steve up to be falsely accused at school, tensions continued to rise, and their fraternity brothers decided that one of them would have to be voted out of the house. As the procedure began, it appeared that John was on his way to victory. Then, one of his friends suddenly surprised the room by voting in Steve's favor. Stunned, John quickly broke the rules by speaking, demanding that his friend change the decision. The other boy refused, stating that if John could set Steve up, he could do the same to any of them. These words had an effect on several of the remaining voters, which resulted in Steve winning the contest, much to his surprise and delight.
When the end of the semester neared, John and Steve met again at a carnival, engaging in a joust match over a mud pit. Taking advantage of Steve's surprise, John easily won the contest. Later, it was revealed that John was dating Steve's ex-girlfriend, Celeste Lundy. When the joust rematch came around, stipulations were included: If Steve won, John would give up his thin relationship with Celeste; if John won, Steve, himself, would leave the fraternity. As the match progressed, with both enduring, Celeste, Brenda Walsh, and Donna Martin suddenly flashed John with their partly exposed chests. Steve then won the match while John was distracted.
Afterwards, Steve and Celeste were briefly reunited before going their separate ways.