Isaiah Johnson went the junior college route, and is happy he did after two successful years at linebacker for San Francisco (Calif.) County College.
A running back with no offers out of high school in Oakland, Johnson added an offer from Rutgers and committed shortly after completing his second JUCO year.
“Isaiah is a great kid,” said SFCC linebackers coach Aidan Campion. “I loved coaching him, and [Rutgers] is going to love it too.”
Johnson checks in at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and instantly inserts himself into an expected position battle at middle linebacker.
“I think what you’re getting is a guy that’s pushing to be a starter right away,” Campion said. “You’re not going to see a lot of guys more complete than Isaiah coming into schools next season.
“Physically, he’s great. He’s 6-foot-2 legit, and he’s put together. He can run well. When we got to about week five, we were like, ‘hey, I wonder why nobody’s coming out here.’ This guy’s a big deal.”
Johnson needed junior college time while he adjusted to defense, and led the SFCC at middle linebacker last season.
“He runs our defense in the box,” Campion said. “He’s a very smart kid. He makes all of the calls. Mentally, he can handle it. Some kids get out there and they struggle. A call will come out or a formation that they don’t recognize, but we’ve had no problems with that.
“When I got here, he was the starter-to-be and then some. He held true and has been great for us. He’s going to leave JC on a scholarship. He earned it. That’s for sure.”