Name: Clem Johnson
Hometown: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
High School: Valley Forge Military
Notes: Starting all but three games at quarterback during his two-year stint at Valley Forge, Johnson led the junior college to a 15-3 mark and back-to-back Seaboard Conference championships. He earned first-team all-conference recognition as a sophomore, playing the final three games of the campaign at defensive back and kick returner... returning the first kickoff he received for a touchdown.
For his efforts, Johnson was named the Seaboard Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-league pick as a freshman. He was also tabbed Seaboard Conference Offensive Player of the Year following his sophomore campaign.
Johnson received the most recruiting attention from Connecticut, James Madison and Hofstra as a senior at Carlisle (Pa.) High School, but also heard from Penn State, Maryland, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kent State Ohio and Boston College, where NC State coach Tom O'Brien was coaching at the time. Most schools were recruiting Johnson as a wideout out of high school, but academics led him to Valley Forge Military College.
He gave a verbal commitment to Temple in the summer of 2007, intent on enrolling in January 2008 and playing either safety or tailback for the school. At the time, he picked the Owls over an offer from Rhode Island and heavy interest from West Virginia and Pitt.
Following his commitment to Temple, offers came in from West Virginia, Arkansas, Akron and Central Michigan, and Johnson began to consider other options. Georgia Tech eventually came calling, giving Johnson the opportunity to remain at quarterback in their new option-based attack.
However, after an official visit to NC State, Johnson saw a chance at early playing time at safety, and after pledging to the Wolfpack, he cancelled a scheduled visit to West Virginia. He'll have three years to play two in the Red and White.
Coach Quote: "Clem is a dynamic player. We ran the ball here and because he was our quarterback we couldn't afford to use him much on defense, but he's an impact player there. We played him on defense our final three games and he was outstanding. We would put him on the best wide receiver and he did his job.
"I think he can make a real impact on the next level on defense and as a returner. He's a talent with the ball in his hands and a big-time athlete." -- Valley Forge Head Coach Don DiCarlo
Scouting Report: "Clem Johnson was a late addition to the NC State class of 2008 and his arrival will help shore up the safety position for the Wolfpack headed into next season.
"Johnson's strong suit is his versatility. At Valley Forge junior college he was a run-pass threat who also doubled as a cornerback at times. At 6-0, 190 pounds Johnson has good size for a safety and brings above average athleticism to the position. He is strong in his lower body and displays impressive cutting ability on film. Johnson is a playmaker in the open field with the ability to make defenders miss and then outrun them to the endzone. Those attributes should help Johnson contend for a spot at punt and kick returner in addition to his duties at safety.
"While focused primarily on offense, Johnson does have experience playing in the secondary. He has very impressive top end and closing speed which should allow him the opportunity to challenge quickly for a spot on the two-deep at NC State. Johnson will simply need some time as do all players making the jump to division one football to hone his technique and adjust to the speed of the players he will be defending." -- Pack Pride Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams
JC Film: #7 QB Clem Johnson -- Passing -
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