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June 27, 2008

Johnson discusses UM commitment

Bradley Johnson strode into the Dinwiddie (Va.) High School weight room Wednesday morning, fresh off his visit to College Park for Maryland’s summer football camp.

A newly-purchased black Under Armour shirt fit snugly on Johnson’s 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame. Emblazoned across his chest in red was the word “Maryland,” with “Terps” underneath.

“I guess some of [my teammates] might have had a feeling [I committed to Maryland],” Johnson said. “Then they [saw the shirt and] realized that’s probably where I’d be playing. So they were excited for me.”

Johnson committed to Maryland on Tuesday, picking the Terps over offers from Virginia Tech, West Virginia, East Carolina, Duke and Richmond. The outside linebacker prospect said his conversation with Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen about everything but football helped seal the deal.

“I talked to the head coach and all we really talked about was my future during college and after,” Johnson said. “That’s basically what pushed Maryland on top.”

Johnson said his discussions with Friedgen dealt mostly with academics and internship opportunities.

“He encourages his players to find ... their niche, and that’s really what stood out,” Johnson said. “I can get internships during the summer, good job opportunities. ... They’re in like the fourth largest media market [in the country]. Where they’re located, I can basically [have the opportunity to get] any job. There are a lot of opportunities around the area to help me find out what I want to do.”

There was, however, some talk of football throughout Johnson’s recruitment. According to Johnson, who will play SAM linebacker in college, he has a shot at earning early playing time.

“They’re graduating around five linebackers this year, so playing time for me should be early,” Johnson said. “It could be a possibility that I might be redshirted, but it also depends on how I do in camp.”

Johnson was offered by Maryland in April during a Junior Day visit to the campus. His second visit was earlier this week for camp. Johnson said he didn’t know ahead of time that he’d commit, but the overall experience convinced him to end his recruitment.

“The campus was beautiful,” Johnson said. “I loved the campus and I liked the coaches, too. ... I didn’t really have an idea [that I‘d commit], but when I went up there the second time, I knew this was where I wanted to play.”

Click here for Dinwiddie coach Billy Mills’ take on Johnson’s commitment.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:55 AM | | Comments (1)


It's nice to see players still committing to colleges not just because of a school's football program, but because of the bigger picture -- getting a good education and landing a nice job upon graduation. Fantastic article, and good luck Bradley!

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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