One of the underclassmen that really stood out at last year’s adidas combine held at NC State was then-sophomore defensive end Brian Johnson from Myers Park High School in Charlotte. At 6-3, 230 pounds, Johnson more than held his own against older players and routinely beat opposing offensive linemen in one on one drills.
After that breakout performance, Johnson went on to have a solid junior campaign. On the year he recorded 78 tackles, six sacks, two blocked kicks and 10 QB hurries en route to all-conference honors.
Recently, Johnson has started to pick up momentum on the recruiting trail. He landed his first scholarship offer and has had a chance to take unofficial visits to a couple of SEC schools showing heavy interest. He gave Pack Pride the latest.
“I got an offer from Miami-Ohio,” said Johnson. “Coach (Jim) Bridge from State called my coach and said they were going to offer but I don’t know when they’re going to send that letter. I was at Tennessee this past Saturday. I’ve been to South Carolina and East Carolina plus I’ve gotten letters from a bunch of schools.”
Johnson said the trip to Knoxville, in particular, was impressive.
“The visits to Tennessee and South Carolina really stood out but I really liked Tennessee,” he said. “They have a need for defensive ends and it seemed like the players there had a great camaraderie. They have a diverse staff. They have a team chaplain and I had a chance to talk to him. They really have it going on up at Tennessee and I was really impressed. They didn’t say anything about offering yet but they want me to come to their camp because they really haven’t seen me in person run around.
“It’s kind of the same thing with South Carolina. They don’t know what position they want me for whether it be linebacker or defensive end. I can play either.”
Although he hasn’t had a chance to visit NC State recently, the Pack also continues to be a major player for Johnson. He camped with the Wolfpack last summer and said they’ve always been a team high on his list.
“I’m really interested in State,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to go there. They’ve got a great program and great facilities. I like coach O’Brien, he’s a great coach. They have great academics. They called and said they were going to offer so I’m just waiting for the letter to come in the mail.
“I like coach Bridge and he’s the coach recruiting me. He’s a great guy. I call him sometimes and we’ve talked.”
Johnson added that he would like to make an early decision so he could focus on his senior season and he has three schools at the top of his early wish-list.
“I want to commit before my senior season starts because I want to focus on winning a state championship,” he said. “I just don’t want to have to worry about where I’m going to play in college so I’d like to do it before my season starts.
“Right now, I like Tennessee, State and South Carolina. Those are probably my top three right now. I’d like to get some interest from Florida because I really like their program but I haven’t heard from them.”
Johnson plans to attend one days camps this summer at Miami (Ohio), NC State, Tennessee and South Carolina. He’ll also make stops at the Scout.com combine on May 10th and a Nike camp on May 2nd.