Brad Johnson will enter college listed as a 4-star defensive end. But if he picks South Carolina, the Gamecocks will play him at the “Buck” position.
The position, which Darius English occupied as the starter in 2016, returns only a couple of players in 2017, including D.J. Wonnum. This weekend, he served as the team’s player host for Johnson, who’s rated as the top pass-rusher from the state of South Carolina for the 2017 cycle.
Virginia Tech hosted Johnson for an official visit in December. The trip to Tennessee is still scheduled for next weekend. After that, he’ll sit down with his family and reach a decision after plenty of prayer.
Following his official visit with the Gamecocks, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound prospect from Pendleton High School spoke with SEC Country about the weekend in Columbia.
How was it?
“It was nice. it was really nice. I was with my mom and my little brother and my cousin went up there. We enjoyed it. We had a good time.”
Your mom’s probably already been down there a few times with you, right?
“She’s been down multiple times, probably around five or six junior days and events like the cookout they had and games. She’s been up there.”
Do you have any idea how many times you’ve been? It’s been a lot.
“I want to say around 10, for sure. I think around 10, for sure.”
Aside from the regular official visit kind of stuff, was there anything different about this visit, compared to the others? Or was it kind of the same?
“It was different. My last official visit, I went to Virginia Tech and I went up there in the middle of the week. It was really just me and my mom there, so it was a lot of open time and 1-on-1 type feel. But with this official visit, I’m glad I went the weekend that I went and with the guys that I did, because they had a lot of recruits in there and a lot of high-profile guys and a lot of guys that I knew, a lot of guys from around the area. I got to hang out with them.
“While I was trying to figure out things up there, they were doing the same thing, kind of using each other to help each other out with information and stuff like that, how we all felt. I think I got to talk to a lot of the players a lot more, and get to know them. I think those are some things that are different.”
How much were the guys in the 2017 class recruiting you?
“A couple of them, they weren’t recruiting, I wouldn’t call it recruiting. But they were definitely trying to give me positive information about USC and reasons why they committed and what were the big deals for them, what really swayed them.”
Who were some of the players you got to spend time with?
“D.J. (Wonnum) was my host. He’s a linebacker, plays the same position I play. He’s a freshman, so he just went through what I would be going through if I was to go up there. … a lot of other guys on the defensive side and offensive side that I talked to. We were all kind of around each other, hanging out in 650 (Lincoln) and giving me and the other recruits input.”
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