Break-Out Game Gets Him Looks

Brandon Johnson, the 5-10, 185-pound junior tailback from Compton Dominguez, had a monster performance in the CIF Championship game, and the recruiting attention took off from there...

One of the biggest break-out performances by a football prospect last season was that of Compton (Calif.) Dominguez tailback Brandon Johnson (5-10, 185).

In the CIF Division III Championship Game against top-ranked Sherma Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame, Johnson ran for 258 yards on 30 carries and four touchdowns in helping Dominguez upset Notre Dame.

"I'm still shocked about the Notre Dame game," said Johnson. "A lot of people know who I was, but I had never had the time to shine. Then I'd get the ball and all I could do was run."

It was that performance that made it clear that Marc Tyler and Raymond Carter would have company among Southern California's elite running backs in the class of 2007.

And it started the serious recruiting attrention that Johnson is now getting.

Johnson has scholarship offers from Arizona and Oregon, while he is also hearing from USC, Cal and UCLA. Those schools make up the list of his top five favorites.

"I don't really have a real favorite right now," said Johnson. "I like USC a lot, but I'm still pretty wide open."

Johnson has been invited to the USC and UCLA Junior Days this spring (UCLA's is this Saturday). He said he also plans to attend the Scout.com Combine in May and likely the Nike Camp in April.

What he doesn't plan to do is make an early decision. "I want to take some trips and see what's best for me. In case football doesn't work out for me, which school will I be happy at to do my academics? I need to answer that kind of stuff," said Johnson.

Despite splitting the carries with tailback Elijah Wesson for the majority of last season, Johnson finished 2005 with 1,490 yards and 22 touchdowns.

But thanks to his championship game performance, his anonymous days are over. Johnson said, "I know a lot of teams are going to try to stop me. It's going to be hard to do what I did last year, with teams keying on me, but it's going to make my game better."

Johnson said he was in good shape academically, holding a 3.1 GPA and scheduled to take the SAT on April 1st.


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