It was a big Thursday for the South Carolina 2013 recruiting class as the Gamecocks received three verbal commitments. Defensive end/linebacker David Johnson (Lithonia, Ga.) was the first of three commitments for South Carolina on Thursday.
David Johnson committed to South Carolina on Thursday.
Johnson committed to South Carolina over offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Louisville, N.C. State, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and a few others.
He last visited South Carolina in early April and said he would likely wait until the summer to make a commitment. What changed for him to decide Thursday?
“I’ve always like South Carolina,” Johnson said. “I’ve wanted to commit all along. I just wanted to do it (Thursday).”
The 6-foot-1, 253-pounder talked about why he chose South Carolina over his other offers.
“I’ve known for about six months that I was going to South Carolina,” Johnson said. “It is close to home and they want to use me like Melvin Ingram. It is a place where I can win games and bowl games. I could play in a BCS game.”
South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward was the recruiter of record for Johnson and has now signed three straight prospects from Lithonia the last three years.
“I called Coach Ward on the phone around 10 a.m. (Thursday),” Johnson said. “I hadn’t talked to him in a while so I needed to call him. Before I called, I talked with my coach and decided I wanted to commit. I told him that I was committing and he got really happy.”
Johnson plays outside linebacker, middle linebacker, defensive end, defensive tackle, and fullback for his high school team. He could play a lot of positions at South Carolina as well.
“They told me they are going to use me like Ingram,” Johnson said. “I could drop back into coverage against the pass or I could rush the passer. They could put me inside or I could play a hybrid type of linebacker. They also talked about middle linebacker.”
Johnson said that his commitment to South Carolina is a strong one.
“My commitment is very strong but I’m going to take other visits just to have that experience,” Johnson said. “It is going to take a lot to turn me from South Carolina.”
Johnson is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports and has an 89 rating. He finished his junior season with 81 tackles, 10 for loss, three sacks, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. He finished his sophomore season with 105 tackles and 10 sacks.
“I’m an aggressive player,” Johnson said. “I always go to the ball aggressive. I never give up on a play. I’m real smart and I know how to dissect an offense. I can also stop the run.”
Insider Take: I don’t see any reason why Gamecock fans should worry about Johnson taking other visits if that were to happen. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t take any more visits. The Gamecocks have had a lot working in their favor with Johnson for a while now and he has known where he was going for a while.
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