Rutgers lands late addition to 2006 class

The recruiting saga for George Johnson has come to an end. The 6'4 230 lb DE/OLB prospect from Glassboro, NJ, who had made an early decision to become the first commitment of the Virginia class of 2006, has become what appears to be the last commitment of the 2006 class for the home state Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

George Johnson had been a full-qualifier by NCAA regulations for quite sometime. However, Virginia requires a minimum verbal SAT score, for which Johnson missed the cut by 10 points.

"It was upsetting to me, but more so to my mom. I have always been a good student and worked hard in the classroom. I just struggled with that part of the test and missed going to Virginia by 10 points. The coaches were trying to find a way to get me in, but the academic administration would not allow it. The coaches were then trying to get me to go to prep school but I want to get in and play top-level football. As soon as I found out that I was not getting accepted to Virginia, I knew for sure that I wanted to be at Rutgers."

While Johnson had his heart set on Virginia early, there was always a sense of intrigue with Rutgers.

"Gary Brackett, who is from my town, has been a mentor to me. He helped me with the process before signing day because I was struggling in choosing between Virginia and Penn State at the time. Also, Kordell Young was an amazing RB in South Jersey last year and he too was going to Virginia. His decision to stay in Jersey definitely made an impression on not only me, but others in South Jersey."

And coincidentally enough, it was his conversations with Young at the Governor's Bowl that led to the link to Rutgers.

"I let him know my situation while we were practicing for the Governor's Bowl and he put word out to the Rutgers coaches that I may not be getting accepted at Virginia. As soon as Rutgers found out that I was denied by Virginia, they let it be known that they would love to have me not only come in as part of this class, but they had plans for me to contribute right away. They really like me and believe I am a key part to what they are doing there."

And for those who watched the Governor's Bowl, Johnson was certainly a stand-out for the New Jersey Defense. Recruiting analyst Chris Melvin, of, who was involved in the team's selection process has this to say about Johnson:

Johnson was a standout from the first day of practice. Like players like Knowshon Moreno - Johnson was heard about - but had his talent questioned. After the first, second and third day of practice - there was no question that George Johnson Jr. was indeed one of the most gifted players the Eastern Region had for the '06 class.

Melvin, who has seen Johnson in person on several occasions, went on to say:

Johnson has size - speed and the toughness to play OLB or DE. Believe it or not - he is still raw and will get even better - and that's the scary part.

Johnson earned praise from the coaches and players for his leadership qualities and talent and was one of the captains selected to represent the New Jersey team. He ended the game with six huge tackles and two sacks - not including various quarterback pressures.

In addition to his on the field prowess, Melvin was left impressed by Johnson's leadership qualities, attributes that much too often get overlooked.

"Johnson seems to raise his game at the level of competition. I was impressed when I saw him play for Glassboro last fall - but the talent and demeanor he displayed in preparation of the Governor's Bowl - the kid is outstanding. Johnson is a leader by example! He was elected as a captain and barely said a word the 3-4 days of practice for the top All-Star Game in the east ... that tells you what kind of player he is."

Rutgers has seemed to save the best for last with this monster addition.

Wait a second! Hold that thought! I am hearing something possibly bigger may be brewing soon. Could it be another addition to 2006?

Stay tuned!

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