UP NEXT: 09' N. Augusta LB/S Brett Johnson

After going 1-10 two seasons ago the North Augusta football team really had nowhere to go but up. Thanks to guys like LB/S Brett Johnson they improved to 6-5 this past season. Johnson is a terror on the field and racked up all-region honors once again. The 2009 star is a all-star performer in the classroom with a GPA of 3.983. Come inside and see who likes Johnson early on and vice versa.

We told you earlier this week the 2009 class has stood out with not only talented players on the gridiron but also kids who shine in the classroom as well. 2009 North Augusta LB/S Brett Johnson is just the latest in this list of superb student-athletes. SCPrepNation.com caught up with the North Augusta High standout to talk about his recruitment and goals for improving this offseason. Johnson is the latest player to be featured in our "UP NEXT" series.

Two seasons ago North Augusta had a tough year on the gridiron. They went 1-10 and many people didn't expect much different from the squad this past season. With Brett Johnson helping to guide the defense things turned around rather quickly. You see two years ago Johnson won team defensive MVP honors and he garnered the award once again this year. Just what makes the 2009 prospect so outstanding you ask? Johnson made 143 tackles, 103 of which were solo. He talked about the game that helped turn things around for his North Augusta squad. "I'd probably say the game against Strom Thurmond was one of my best games. I had 22 tackles and it was our first win of the season. It was our first win over them in 3 or 4 years too. It got the season turned around for us to go from 1-10 last year to 6-5 this year."

At 6'2 206 pound Johnson has good size. He may be small currently for the college level at linebacker but he is still growing. Right now he's a prototype safety at his current size. Speed is an area where Johnson isn't lacking either. He reports a 4.52 second 40 yard dash. Still it is an area that Johnson is already working hard on to improve heading towards his senior season. "I will probably say my speed and strength are the areas I want to improve the most this offseason. I'm gonna try to get it down to the 4.4 range if possible. That's what I'm working towards. I'm also trying to get my bench press up to at least 300 pounds."

The 2009 standout talked about helping his North Augusta team improve before mentioning any personal goals he wanted to accomplish. "I just want to help my team make it to the playoffs first. We want to go out and have a very successful season and win a state championship hopefully."

Spring practice is just around the corner and Johnson talked about how forward he and his teammates are looking to it. "Oh yeah I'm ready to get it started. We all are."

This offseason he says he'll attend a few of the college camps and hopes to make it out to one of the Scout.com/Under Armour combines in the region which is to be held later on this spring.

Given his tremendous work at linebacker some schools have already started to show early interest in Johnson he says. "So far Air Force, LSU, Michigan State, Maryland, and Middle Tennessee are the main schools." Air Force made a call recently to Johnson and was the first to made direct contact with the North Augusta prospect. Another school that Johnson is highly interested in along with Air Force is Vanderbilt. "Vanderbilt came to the school to see me but they haven't called me yet."

As we mentioned before Johnson's GPA is big-time as well with a 3.983. He is also a member of the Beta Club. His talents don't end there as he also earned all-region status for basketball as well. Given his prowess in the classroom it's a given that wherever he takes his talents to in 2 years that program will have to offer a great education. "Education and location will probably be the main factors for me. I kind of want to go somewhere close to home but we'll see how that goes. A good education will be real big for me though when picking a college."

We will keep you up to date with Johnson as he prepares to turn it up another notch this offseason to ready himself for his senior season next year. We will have some great video highlights of Johnson on the field this week too so keep it locked right here with your #1 source for South Carolina high school football and basketball recruiting coverage...SCPrepNation.com!

Inside The Numbers...Brett Johnson
Bench press: 275 pounds
Squat: 380 pounds
40 time: 4.52 seconds
GPA: 3.983

Interesting Fact: Johnson's favorite football player is Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens.

Scout's Take: After reviewing Johnson's video highlights he indeed is a player to watch out for in the 2009 class. He very possibly could play LB on the next level in the right defensive scheme. If he grows another inch or more and adds more muscle to his frame he's got a chance because he excels currently at his natural position as a linebacker. His instincts at the position are uncanny and his intelligence shows when he's on the field. Right now he's got the looks of a possible dynamite safety given his blend of speed and strength.

His tackling ability and effort stand out a great deal when watching him in action. Johnson has a nose for the ball and has the closing speed to go with it. Those two things make for some spectacular collisions in which Johnson is the delivering party. The name Craig Steltz (LSU safety) was mentioned on his highlight tape sent to us and it's a valid comparison. Right now though we're not sure if he's had a lot of experience as a safety but given his aptitude, apparent passion for the game, and tremendous tackling ability/speed it's a worthy comparison.

A good showing on the camp/combine circuit this offseason could pay big dividends for him. If his 4.52 speed holds up or if he gets any faster we think he'll open plenty of eyes this recruiting season ultimately turning into some nice scholarship offers. KF

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