Pendleton (S.C.) defensive end Brad Johnson was “torn” between staying in-state to continue his football career or headed up to Virginia Tech. In the end, the Gamecocks won out. The four-star defensive end announced his commitment to South Carolina today during an announcement at his high school, spurning a heavy push from Justin Fuente and the Hokies.
Johnson hosted Will Muschamp and Mike Peterson last week for in-home visits, per Phil Kornblut from Sportstalk. Virginia Tech sent two assistant coaches shortly after. After Johnson went over his options with his high school head coach this morning, Paul Sutherland, he ended up settling on the Gamecocks.
While it’s not a safety to replace the loss of Hamsah Nasirildeen to Florida State, this is still a strong commitment for South Carolina on National Signing Day. Johnson is the class of 2017’s #22 ranked weakside defensive end according to 247’s composite rankings and is the #3 recruit in the entire state of South Carolina. With Johnson’s commitment, the Gamecocks now have the state’s top three players in OrTre Smith, Shi Smith, and Johnson. It’s another step in the right direction by this staff to not only keep in-state talent within the borders but to funnel them to Columbia.