Highland Springs ATH Braylon Johnson (Photo: Joe Barnes/recruit757)
Braylon Johnson grabs eleven offers in two days
by Byron Jones, recruit804
Over the summer, Highland Springs Braylon Johnson (2023 DB 6-1 160) attended our Clash of the Titans showcase and put on a solid performance against a field of competition primarily made up of experienced juniors and seniors. The week before our camp, Johnson attended a regional combine for NextGen and received an invitation to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida to compete in their All-American showcase.
The event was held at the end of December, and Johnson put on a clinic against some of the best prospects in the country. Some of the talent on display held multiple Power 5 offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, etc. When asked about his experience competing on a national stage, Braylon stated, “The showcase boosted my confidence and ignited a competitive spirit in me that I didn’t know I had. It felt great to get out there and compete against the best of the best.”
Johnson’s performance at the showcase didn’t go unnoticed and for the past 48 hours, his phone has been ringing non-stop. The sophomore defensive back has picked up eleven Division I offers since Tuesday. His first offer came from Virginia Tech, his father’s alma mater. His next ten offers came from Maryland, Liberty, UVA, Boston College, Penn State, Pitt, Norfolk State, Georgia Tech, ODU, and Oklahoma “It’s an amazing feeling,” explained Johnson. “I feel like all of my hard work is paying off and things are falling into place. I just got to keep working now.”
In his offer announcements posted on Twitter, Johnson made sure to pay homage to past Springer players from those respective programs. For his Virginia Tech post, Braylon used photos of Victor “Macho” Harris, Cris Hill, and of course his father, Coach Loren Johnson. UVA and Norfolk State’s announcement included Billy Kemp IV, and Juwan “Pootie” Carter. If his offers from Boston College and Oklahoma would have arrived in the fall, he could have included pictures of Jamareeh Jones (2021 DB 6-0 190), Kelvin Gilliam (2021 DE 6-3 250), and Damond Harmon (2021 DB 6-1 180).
“I included those photos as a reminder of how good I’ve got to be in order to continue the Springer legacy,” he stated. He continued, “It was eye-opening putting the posts together… Like it was crazy to think of the number of guys who’ve come through our program over the years. We’ve produced some dogs at Highland Springs, and it’s a reminder of how hard I’ve got to work in order to be as good as them someday.”
— Braylon Johnson (@BJ1WAY) January 6, 2021
With each announcement, Braylon received a lot of love from some prominent Springer alums, including New York Jets offensive lineman Mekhi Becton, Philadelphia Eagles defensive back K’Von Wallace, and Clemson defensive back Malcolm Greene. When asked what it meant to him to hear from some of those guys, Johnson stated, “It was an amazing feeling hearing from them. What makes it more special is that they all know how hard I’ve worked to get to this point. They understand that none of this came for free for me.”
Not everyone in the “Twitterverse” was happy to see Johnson’s offer sheet pile up. Subtle sneak disses from some athletes and even some adults began circulating on the platform around his fifth or sixth announcement. I assume that the peanut gallery is hung up on the fact that Johnson has yet to see a varsity snap, or he’s likely receiving the attention because of who his father is.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but kids receiving offers pre-varsity isn’t anything new, and the young man can’t help who his father is. “It’s a blessing and curse,” explained Johnson.
“My father doesn’t offer anyone scholarships, college coaches do. Nobody owes him or me anything. I’ve worked for this and I will continue to work hard and earn my respect.”
With eleven offers in hand and his sophomore campaign on the horizon, Johnson patiently awaits his varsity debut and he’s anxious to prove that he’s one of the best defensive backs in the class of 2023. “Receiving the offers and attention is nice, but I’m remaining focused on the season and staying on a strict routine. I made a promise to myself that I would be productive everyday of 2021. It’s impossible to become better if I become complacent.”
Highland Springs will begin their quest for the program’s fifth VHSL Class 5 state title in six seasons on February 26th on the road against Atlee.
– Byron Jones