Braylon Johnson Updates His Recruitment

Braylon Johnson
Braylon Johnson has visited Virginia Tech six times. (Braylon Johnson‘s Instagram)

Braylon Johnson
Defensive Back, Class of 2023
Highland Springs, Highland Springs, VA
6-1, 170

Yes, he’s the son of a former standout college football player, but Highland Springs (Va.) three-star cornerback Braylon Johnson has been adamant that his recruitment is about him, not his father.

Johnson’s father, Loren Johnson, was an All-Big East selection as a defensive back at Virginia Tech from 1995-98 and has been the Springers’ head coach since 2008. They won four straight Class 5 state titles from 2015-18.

The youngest Johnson has made his own strides with his recruitment. He had a busy spring with visits for practices and spring games. While Braylon said he doesn’t have a top list, he might not be far off.

“I don’t know if I have a top five, but I have schools I like, coaches I like,” he said. “Some people say to base your decision off school, not coaches, but at the same time, I’m doing both. Some staffs won’t be there long. I think after this spring, late May, I’ll have a top five, then be committed. I want to get it done before Aug. 28, our first game.”

His father’s alum, Virginia Tech, remains firmly in the picture. Braylon was back in Blacksburg April 16 with his father for the Hokies’ spring game. It was his third visit there this year, and sixth overall.

“Coming from a recruiting standpoint, it’s a big difference,” Braylon said. “I don’t know what the old staff was doing. That’s not a knock, but Coach Fuente, I don’t think he knew what he was doing in Virginia. He’s a Midwest guy. That was my first offer. They kind of want me to really start the class. They’re not pressing, but they’ve pushed it. If I commit now and they lose to ODU, how does that look on me? I don’t want to be the guy who commits three and four times. I want to stick with a school, so my process has slowed down.”

Assistant coach Derek Jones has been the primary recruiter for Braylon. Including their time together at the Spring Game, their bond has grown. Still, Braylon said it’s been a staff effort.

“Coach Jones, he’s recruiting me the most, but I get video from Coach (JC) Price, and they come down a lot,” he said. “I’m just talking to those guys a lot, even Lino (Lupinetti). That’s my guy. It’s not just any one person. During the spring game, I ducked off, with my girlfriend and father and just walked around, just to get away. Even when I walked around, everyone was like, ‘you ok?’ I just felt like they cared. Everyone knew my name. It felt like home, but I’m not pressured to go there.”

Braylon said his father has accompanied him on nearly all of his visits. One of those was last month to Clemson, which hasn’t offered a scholarship, but has long been appealing.

“I went back to get the offer, honestly, and I wanted to see Malcom Greene,” Braylon said. “I love Coach (Mike) Reed. I think he has the same love back for me. I love Clemson. That’s kind of my dream school, not just football, but the Dabo (Swinney) effect and what they’ve built around football. I don’t think Coach (Mickey) Conn knows where to play me at, so I don’t know if they’ll offer. But I was supposed to have that offer a while back. I had a great camp.”

Virginia also got a visit two days later, but Braylon said he’s unsure where he stands with the Cavaliers.

“That was good, just talking to Coach (Tony) Elliott,” he said. “That was fun. I don’t know if they’re getting used to everything, but they don’t recruit me as hard as others do. Not that they don’t want