As Solid As Ever

Ethan Johnson from Lincoln High School (Portland, Oregon) saw the Notre Dame campus for the first time on an unofficial visit in June. At some point during that visit he felt that Notre Dame was the right place for him, and he committed before he left campus. Last weekend, Johnson made his official visit to Notre Dame and he left campus more certain than ever that he had made the right decision.

Various college coaches have been trying to stay in contact with defensive end Ethan Johnson (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) with the hope that he will reconsider his commitment to Notre Dame. Over the past several months Johnson has held firm with his commitment to Notre Dame and last weekend he was in town with his mother to get another look at his future home.

"I got in on Friday around 5:00 p.m., because we played on Thursday," Johnson responded when asked about his visit to Notre Dame for the Boston College weekend. "The first night my host was Emeka Nankwo and then Ian Williams was my host on Saturday. I hung out with Ian the first week I was at Notre Dame over the summer. They were both really cool kids. I hung out with Kyle [Rudolph], Sean [Cwynar], Braxston [Cave], and John [Goodman]. I hung out with Jimmy [Clausen], Duvall [Kamara], Mike Ragone. I met Golden Tate, Robert [Hughes] and Gary Gary. They're definitely a good group of guys.

"I'm definitely solid. My mom said that she had the time of her life. Basically I had a blast the whole was really fun. The game environment was sweet. It's college football. It seems like everything originated from Notre Dame. They really incorporate their band into the whole game. Their band is really tight.

"I've never been to a game like that," Johnson said. "I've been to an Oregon State game and an Oregon game. Autzen Stadium is really, really loud, and I don't think any other stadium is as loud as Autzen, but when Notre Dame scored I was amazed by how many students did push-ups. It was like a ‘mosh pit'. I've never seen that before."

Although Notre Dame failed to get the win against Boston College, Johnson liked the effort that he saw from his future teammates.

"They had a great game," Ethan explained. "Their defense was shutting them down and then they had a touchdown called back. If that holding call wasn't made they could have been in that game and they could have won it.

"I'm excited to come in and compete for a starting spot. At Notre Dame, they have so many young players contributing that it's encouraging that it could be me next year. Coach Brown talked to me about the defense a little bit. He runs a '3-4' and a '4-3' and he's recruiting me as a defensive end, so if I can get my '5-techinque' down I'll be set.

"I love blitzing and doing stunts," Johnson said referring to the Irish defensive scheme. "That's when it's the most fun. You know where you have to go and you get there."

When Johnson returned home from his visit he had more exciting news waiting for him as he was officially named to play in the U.S. Army All-American game.

"I had my U.S Army All-American presentation [Tuesday]," Johnson said. "It was really good. The presentation was cool. I spoke a little. I thanked God, my family and my coaches. I got interviewed and had my picture taken. It was a great honor. It was really cool.

"I didn't see this coming my junior season at all. I really didn't think about [playing in the game] until I got offered by USC, Michigan and Notre Dame. Once that happened, I thought that I'd have a chance to play in the game, because those schools don't just offer anyone. I didn't focus on it, but I thought if everything went well, that I'd play in it. It's really just icing on the top and it's just an honor that I'm going to have a chance to play in that game." Top Stories