Pennington Prep (N.J.) junior Dontae Johnson has six official scholarship offers, including one from the University of Virginia. Johnson, a safety/wide receiver prospect, received the offer from head coach Al Groh while attending Virginia's February 14th junior day. He reflected on that experience.
"It was a great experience," Johnson said. "It gave me a chance to get out and see a different type of campus. Virginia is a great academic school. It is one of the best public schools in the country, so that is a plus. Football-wise, Virginia has a great staff so everything should fall into place."
Virginia is pursuing Johnson as a safety and the talented prospect had a chance to catch up with a former great one, UVa defensive backs coach Anthony Poindexter
"Anthony Poindexter is a great guy," Johnson said. "I sat down and talked to him. He knows what he is talking about because he has been there before and done it. He is a good guy."
Johnson also had the opportunity to make a recent unofficial visit to Raleigh to check out NC State and came away impressed, as well.
“NC State has a great campus, facilities and coaching staff. The environment overall was great," Johnson said.
Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota and N.C. State are the Garden State star's other five offers, with Duke, Penn State and Pittsburgh expressing heavy interest as well. An early decision doesn't seem likely, especially if the offer list continues to grow.
"I have no favorites right now," Johnson said. "I was looking to make an early decision, but with more schools involved I think that'll be tough."
A starter on both sides of the ball for Pennington Prep, Johnson is being recruited primarily as a safety by college coaches. He believes he could play receiver on the next level but likes the fact that safety is his likely destination.
"I like being able to be free," Johnson said of playing the safety spot. "There is a structured guideline to follow, but most of it is athleticism. I like being able to make plays on the ball. I like being able to play free and make plays. It'll be challenging on the next level, but after a couple years of learning I should be able to do that."
A solid basketball player as well, Johnson averaged 12 points and nine boards per game this past season. His team captured a county championship and finished second in the state.
Johnson is in his second year at Pennington Prep after transferring in from South Plainfield High School. He is certainly happy to have made the move.
"It definitely helped me recruiting-wise," Johnson said. "It has been a big plus. Academically, it is a great school. The boarding experience has been good for me. It'll help me make the bigger transition to college."