Johnson Brings 'Flat Out Speed'

Inside Carolina caught up with Union (S.C.) Union County head coach Steve Taneyhill to learn more about UNC's newest verbal commitment, wide receiver Roscoe Johnson.

What type of player is North Carolina gaining in Roscoe Johnson?

“I think the first thing that we saw when he came in as a ninth grader was his just flat out speed – I think he ran a 4.3-4.4 up there. Since then, he’s built himself into a 180 pounds and more than just a speed guy. He’s really worked hard. [He’s] a great route runner. I expect him to have a great year his senior year.

“Last year, the whole focus was on Shi Smith, my underclassman wideout. I think because of all the attention, Roscoe ended up having a pretty good year and people have started to see him as well. But I think both guys have benefited.”

Johnson seems a little under the radar. Why is that?

“No question about it. I think last year, a lot of the attention went Shi’s way. South Carolina had offered [Smith] and he’d been to Auburn and Clemson was looking at him. When those things started happening, I think Roscoe was overshadowed a little bit. And I think that helped Roscoe a little bit, because it made him hungry to perform.

“But, it has a lot to do with our team. We didn’t make the playoffs and when you don’t have those kids playing in the playoff games where more people have the opportunity to see them. I think the better we are as a team this year will help Roscoe even more. He doesn’t need it now that he’s committed to UNC, but he’s definitely been under the radar for sure.”

What other schools were recruiting Johnson?

“He was supposed to go to [Georgia] for their invite-only ‘Dawg Night.’ I don’t know if he’ll even go now. And then [Appalachian] State was really pressuring hard on him and then NC State really liked him as well. I don’t know who else would have came in [with an offer] if this thing would have kept going, but NC State and App State were pushing the most. And App State really wanted him to commit and really wanted him to swing by with his mom when he left North Carolina [on Wednesday].”

Talk about Gunter Brewer’s impact on Johnson’s recruitment.

“I’m going to tell you, I’ve been around a lot of coaches and I played [in college for South Carolina], as well. Coach Brewer is never fake – it’s what you see is what you get. And he tells the kids exactly what it is and I think the kids appreciate that.

“Coach Brewer and I have a lot of similarities in how we coach. I think Roscoe saw that and I think Shi sees that.

“I think with Coach Brewer being honest all the time is just the way to do it. I have a lot of respect for Coach Brewer.

“It also helps that he recruits our area and he is the wide receiver coach. I think the wide receivers coach also recruiting the wide receivers makes a big difference, as well. I think with Roscoe, Coach Brewer had a lot to do with it for sure.”

You’ve mentioned Smith a few times. Do you think that Johnson’s commitment helps with Smith?

“I can’t answer for Shi, but I think that’s going to come down to the feel with Coach Brewer. Shi’s going to have probably 20 offers when this thing is over and at some point you’ve got to go to a school where you feel comfortable with the coach. So I think Coach Brewer will have more to do with where Shi goes than say Roscoe. But having a teammate at a school definitely doesn’t hurt – that’s for sure.”

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