Defensive Move To Bring Offers?

This Woodland Hills (Pa.) High School is working to get offers from several Big East and Big Ten schools, and once tape of his senior year is viewed by coaches it figures that those scholarships won't be long in coming.

Devan Johnson, who moved to the defensive side of the ball this year, is receiving interest from a number of schools who believe the six-foot, one-inch, 235-pound linebacker can be an impact player at that position in college. The reason offers haven't been flooding in yet is a simple one – the coaches at those schools want to see tape of Johnson playing the spot. Once he collects that footage and gets it out to the coaches, he expects offers to begin coming his way.

"West Virginia wants to see some of my film there," he said after a recent visit to WVU. "They want me as a linebacker, and they want to see a full game of me playing there. I have a highlight tape out already, but the schools they want me on the defensive side want to see me play a full game there. I'm putting that together now. I'll be sending out a game and some highlights too."

Johnson, who visited WVU at a recent home game, renewed connections with some of his former teammates and fellow competitors.

"It went great," he said of his visit to the West Virginia campus. "I went down to the locker rooms and talked to some of the players. I got to talk to Wes Lyons (Johnson's teammate at Woodland Hills a year ago) and Anthony Leonard. I got to watch and see how the players got ready for the game."

This wasn't Johnson's first visit to West Virginia. He made the short trip down Interstate 79 for a pair of summer camp dates earlier this year, and also attended the West Virginia-Pitt game in 2005. As a result, he has learned a great deal about the WVU program. That familiarity, plus the presence of friends such as Lyons and Leonard, makes the Mountaineers one of his favorites.

"I went to the West Virginia-Pitt game last year, and that was the first time I stayed for the whole game," he noted. "The experience was great. It's just a great place to play football. The fans are into it every single play, and that makes a great atmosphere to play in. It's a great community there.

"I like West Virginia, but I am high on any school that is recruiting me," Johnson stated plainly. "I have offers from Colorado, Akron, Kent State and Temple. West Virginia, Michigan State, Pitt, Cincinnati, Syracuse and Michigan are showing a lot of interest right now."

Johnson, who has not scheduled any official visits yet, has been a standout tight end for Woodland Hills, but has expanded his horizons (as well as potential offers) by playing defense this year.

"This is my first year at linebacker, and it's actually been fun," he said of the move. "It has been very challenging, but it gives me a chance to show my hard-hitting side in addition to my blocking. My first love was always offense, but defense is coming on strong for me now.

"I probably won't pick a school based on where they want to play me," he continued. "Temple and Colorado are looking at me as a fullback, and Akron is just looking at me as an athlete. The others are looking at me as a linebacker.

In addition to West Virginia, Michigan State is showing a great deal of interest in Johnson.

"Michigan State wanted me to come to their one day camp, but I had a conflict," he said. "They have seen me play, and they already had my highlight tape. I think they just want to see how I develop and how I matured between my junior and senior years.

For now, Johnson is working hard to earn offers from BCS schools, and if he continues to show improvement, he figures to have more than a few in hand soon.


  • At six feet, one inch and 235 pounds, Johnson is already big enough to man any linebacker position on the field. His 40-yard dash time of 4.62 seconds could be good enough to spot him outside as well.

  • During Johnson's visit to West Virginia, he caught a bit of grief from his former Woodland Hills teammates.

    "I got a hard time from Wes for losing our first game," Johnson laughed. "But we won't let that loss take us down. "We'll take what we can, learn from it and get better, and hopefully play into November."

  • BlueGoldNews Top Stories