James Johnson Key In Wood Staying With VT

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As most Tech fans know by now, new head men’s basketball coach James Johnson has kept Rustburg (VA) forward Marshall Wood in the fold.  Wood, who signed a letter of intent with Virginia Tech last November, was prepared to reevaluate his college decision following Seth Greenberg’s dismissal.

Marshall Wood (in red jersey)

“[Marshall] did in fact ask for his release prior to Coach Johnson being named head coach,” Rustburg head coach Brantley Shields said.  “After JJ was named head coach, he met with Marshall and they had a great conversation.  He was very up front and honest with Marshall about where he wanted the program to go and Marshall was excited by his vision.”

Having spoken with Wood several times, there is no question the 6’8″, 210-pound high school senior had developed a close bond with Johnson, who served as his primary recruiter from Virginia Tech.  In a Q&A feature with TSL on March 30, Wood said the following about James Johnson:

“He’s just a really good person. Very relatable. I definitely had the sense that he was caring for me. I wasn’t just another recruit. He’s always honest. I respect him a lot.”

Coach Shields echoed that sentiment.

“He’s very sincere and just a likeable guy,” Shields said of Johnson.  “He really does his homework and really works to know the situation of everyone involved in the recruitment, not just the athlete. That really allows for open communication from both parties.”

Will Wood, a face-up forward and Rustburg’s all-time leading scorer, play a different role than the one Greenberg recruited him to play?

“Marshall didn’t say one way or the other, but did say that Coach Johnson wanted to play fast and that