MLB Johnson Makes Top Play of Sat. Scrimmage

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers coach Kyle Flood often says that first impressions in life are significant. Linebacker Isaiah Johnson made a strong one Saturday in front of his new head coach with the top play of the Scarlet Knights’ first spring scrimmage.

Newcomer Isaiah Johnson came through for the Rutgers defense in a big way during his first competitive showing within High Point Solutions Stadium.

Johnson made the biggest play of Saturday’s scrimmage when a red-zone interception of quarterback Hayden Rettig put his former running back skills to work -- all the way to the other end zone for a touchdown.

“It was pretty exciting,” Johnson said. “I think it was the corner, who made a nice play on the ball and it just came right to me so I broke and just ran away with it.”

Johnson saw a heavy first- and second-team workload at linebacker with other players limited and injured. He expects that to continue through the second half of spring where he is the only healthy middle linebacker on the roster.

“Right now I think I just want to work on consistency and doing my job every play,” Johnson said. “I think more of that should occur.”

The junior college transfer impressed Rutgers early with knowledge and leadership at middle linebacker. He is now three months into his Rutgers career, and continues improvement in defensive coordinator Joe Rossi’s playbook.

“I feel like with every practice, I’m becoming more comfortable,” Johnson said. “… It’s been a little bit tough, but I’ve been getting better. I’m understanding the plays more, the terminology, so I can be a little bit more vocal and lead the guys.”

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