Chris Johnson, a 6-3 1/2, 220-pound rising senior defensive end, helped Tallwood (Virginia Beach, VA) turnaround a 2-8 2005 season with an 8-2 season this year that included a trip to the Eastern Region Playoffs. Johnson, who racked up around 10 sacks last season, may be Tallwood’s top Division 1A prospect.
“A lot of coaches have been coming,” Johnson said of how the evaluation period has gone for him. “I’m keeping my options open to all colleges because I want to make sure I go to the right place for my future and to go to a team I’m going to be a big part of.
“Right now, I’ve got a verbal offer from Northern Illinios and I’ve got an offer from Army.”
Johnson showed pretty well at last month’s Virginia Beach combine. He ran a 4.8 in the 40-yard dash and a 4.2 in the 20-yard shuttle. He benched 185 pounds 18 times and posted a 27-inch vertical leap.
Johnson was anxious to show what he could do in front of college coaches on Wednesday, which of course was the day of the Virginia Beach camp.
“I just had the mentality to come out here and prove what I am,” Johnson said. “I just do my best at everything I do and give 100 percent.”
Tallwood’s standout defensive player is being recruited primarily as a defensive end, but some schools are mentioning outside linebacker as well. Johnson definitely projects on defense on the next level.
“It depends on how my body grows once I get to college,” Johnson said of what his future position will be.
Virginia Tech coaches visited Tallwood last week, while UVa coaches stopped by on Wednesday. Johnson says he definitely will head to Blacksburg for camp next month, but he is not sure if he will go to UVa’s camp.
In addition to playing football, Johnson also runs track.
“I’m the biggest hurdler in the Beach,” Johnson said with a laugh. “Those skinner guys beat me, but I beat some of them, too.”
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