Bulldog verbal DeAndre Johnson of Miami, Florida is still being recruited by several college football programs.

Coach Dan Mullen and the staff at Mississippi State have looked to expand the Bulldogs' recruiting footprint this year. The state of Florida has proven to be especially fertile for the Bulldogs this recruiting cycle netting four verbal pledges for the 2017 signing class. Defensive end DeAndre Johnson is part of that talented quartet.

Miami Southridge is approaching the heart of their 2016 football schedule. Deandre Johnson believes that his team is beginning to find a sense of themselves now that district play has begun.

"The season is going pretty good. We're 4-2 right now," Johnson shared. "We got a big district win last week and we have another district game this week. I feel like we have a chance to have a big year. We just need everybody to keep working and playing hard."

Johnson is projected to play defensive end on the college level. Due to a team need at Southridge, Johnson agreed to a position change this fall in hopes of helping the Spartans generate more of a pass rush.

"They moved me inside and that's worked out pretty good." Johnson said. "I am able to use my quickness in there to make plays. It's helped me learn to be better with my hands. I feel like I am getting the hang of it and it's helping our defense."

The three star defensive end selected Mississippi State shortly after a visit to Starkville during the Bulldogs' June camp sessions. The Sunshine stater chose the Bulldogs over a dozen other offers mainly because of the people of Mississippi State.

"Mississippi State was just genuine and sincere with me from the very beginning," Johnson said. "When I went up there for the visit, I just feel in love with everything. It's a great place and I have a great relationship with all of the coaches."

Johnson's area recruiting coach, Terrell Buckley, was a big part of the attraction to Starkville. Johnson reports that he has developed a solid rapport with both Buckley and his future position coach, Brian Baker. 

"Coach Buckley knows what life in Miami is like," Johnson explained. "I just have a great bond with him and he's always told me how much that they wanted me up there. Coach Baker seems like a great coach and I always enjoy having the chance to talk to him too. They always make me feel like I am coming home and that they can't wait for me to get there."

With a busy Friday night schedule, it is difficult for Johnson to make the trek from South Beach to Stark Vegas. It appears that the next time the talented edge setter will visit Starkville will be during his official visit.

"I am going to be graduating in December and starting school up there in January," Johnson said. "I am going to take my visit up there some time in December. I probably won't be able to make it up there for a game, but that's okay. I look forward to taking my visit. I don't have any other visits set up, but if I do take any Mississippi State will still be my last visit."

Despite his commitment to Mississippi State, a few other programs remain in contact with Johnson. Some have discussed the possibility of flying Johnson in for an official visit before he graduates later this year.

"I don't have anything set up, but Tennessee, Cal and a few other schools have said that they would like me to take a visit," Johnson said. "I am not sure about all of that yet. I am solid with Mississippi State and that's where I plan on going, but I am still in touch with a few schools just in case something happens. I don't want to close any doors yet."


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