Following In The Footsteps

Parkersburg High School's Justin Johnson has been attending West Virginia games as a fan and a recruit for several years now. Saturday, he decided to take the next step in the process.

"I've been thinking about it a lot, and when I went up there this weekend I decided to do it," said Justin Johnson, the half-brother of current WVU starter Josh Jenkins. "I didn't just decide when I got there. I talked about it with my mom and brother and some of my friends, and they were good with it. So I decided to go ahead and do it."

It has been a foregone conclusion in many circles that Johnson would end up at West Virginia, but he said he gave serious consideration to Ohio University and Marshall as well. He visited Marshall's campus over the summer, but in the end the familiarity with WVU won out.

"I've been going up there since Josh was being recruited there. I've seen it many times, and I've been at just about every game since my sophomore year," he said.

At six feet, three inches and 290 pounds, Johnson has the size to play Division I. He's been working on technique and footwork, using pointers he picked up from West Virginia's summer camp, to improve. And even though he already has the size of a DI lineman, he still recognizes that his strength must improve in order to compete at that level. He will, however, have one advantage that many recruits don't – a friendly face to help with the transition from high school to college.

"I'm definitely looking forward to playing with Josh for a year", Johnson said. "He'll be a senior and I'll be a freshman, but he'll be able to show me the ropes. Josh and I are very close. We call each other every day, and he was really excited when I told him I was committing. My whole family is excited too."

Johnson certainly doesn't have any problems meeting head coach Bill Stewart's new guideline about visiting campus before committing, as he's been there more than most of the current freshmen on the squad. And after all of the time he has spend there, he is solid with his decision.

"I don't think I'll be taking any more visits," he said. "I'm a man of my word, and I saw everything here that I needed to make me comfortable."

Johnson is West Virginia's 12th commitment in the class of 2011.

WVU 2011 commitments

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