The Terps and assistant Pete Lembo offered Southwest Guilford (High Point, N.C.) junior corner Nolan Johnson back in the spring, and five months later the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder made it up for his first look at UMD in action. Johnson, who was last in College Park, Md., in late June, wasn’t exactly treated to Maryland’s best performance as the Terps were drubbed by Ohio State Nov. 12. But that didn’t seem to faze the emerging 2018 defensive back.
“Maryland is a really great school and it always feels like home when I'm up there. I really liked it the last time, and I had a good time [Nov. 12] too,” said Johnson, who holds just one other offer from ECU. “The atmosphere was crazy and the stadium was rocking. The fans kept it going, and I thought that was cool. I liked being there and with the other recruits.”
Before the game, Johnson said he spoke to Lembo, his recruiter, once again. He also chatted with secondary staffer Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and defensive coordinator Andy Buh.
“I talked to Coach Lembo when I first got there because he's my recruiter, so it was mostly just a greeting and how glad he was to see me there. We have a great relationship, and I talk to Coach Lembo all the time,” Johnson said. “And with Coach Buh and Coach Rahim it was mostly the same thing. Basically saying, ‘You see why we need your help and want you here in Maryland. We have a great class coming in and if you buy in too you can be apart of something great here.’ That was something that stuck with me.
“I didn’t get a chance to talk to Coach [D.J.] Durkin, but I think he’s a good coach and is going to turn Maryland around.”
Johnson had already toured College Park prior to Nov. 12. He saw more of the school this time around, however, and was able to interact with a few advisors and even some Maryland fans.
“It's a really beautiful campus full of nice people, and it's huge,” said Johnson, who previously extoled UMD’s Under Armour connections and uniforms. “It’s a great place to be and I’m very comfortable there. Also, I like their business program, and they have one of the top 20 business schools in the country.”
Besides UMD, Johnson has visited UNC, Va Tech, Duke and ECU this fall. He’s heading to Wake Forest Nov. 19 and should be hitting NC State soon as well. Then during the spring, Johnson plans to venture out to locales further from his North Carolina home, with a return to College Park on the docket.
He’s receiving interest from programs such as Va Tech, UNC, NC State, Wake and Clemson.
Johnson is seeking an offer from each of the latter schools -- UNC is a personal favorite -- along with programs throughout the SEC like UGA (he raved about a spring trip to Athens, Ga.); Tennessee; South Carolina; Mississippi State; Ole Miss and others.