UF football picks up 11th commitment
Published: Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 1:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 1:46 p.m.
The Florida football team picked up its first offensive line verbal commitment Sunday in three-star tackle Roderick “Rod” Johnson.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder from Delray Beach American Heritage was in Gainesville on Saturday to watch the Gators' first scrimmage of the spring.
“I loved it,” Johnson said of the scrimmage. “It was high tempo and high intensity, which is how we practice at my school. So I was very comfortable. I felt like strapping up.”
UF could use his help early and that was a big selling point for Johnson.
“The coaches discussed the depth chart with me and I was quite astonished by it, because I will have the opportunity to see the field as a young player,” he said. “That means a lot to me. I'm fired up about it.”
Johnson also sat in on team meetings and got a tour of the campus. He said he bonded well with the current players and was impressed with Florida's hardware.
“I really liked the history of them winning national championships,” Johnson said. “As I walked through the athletic facility, I saw the three (national championship) trophies and I was amazed.”
Johnson, rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, is no stranger to success. Last year, he started for the Stallions (12-1) and helped them win the Class 3A State Championship with a 30-3 victory over Madison County. The experience taught Johnson many lessons that will follow him to Florida.
“You just got to stay humble and take everything one game at a time,” he said. “You got to have good preparation no matter who you're playing, because once you reach the top everybody's going to give you their best shot.
“I want to be a young leader on the team that keeps everybody focused and makes sure we're always grinding. I want everybody to have a winning mentality like me.”
With his recruitment over, Johnson now turns his attention to athletics and academics.
“Now I can focus on finishing my senior year out strong, trying to go undefeated, winning another state ring, and doing great academically so come summer time I'll be ready to go,” he said.
Johnson is the 11th member of UF's 2013 class. Verbal commitments are not binding until prospects sign their letters of intent.