The recruiting stock of H.D. Woodson corner DuWayne Johnson gained traction last spring on the combine circuit, as scouts marveled at his length and athleticism. The buzz has certainly continued seven games into his junior season, where the 6-foot-1 Johnson has helped the Warriors take hold of a first place in the DCIAA Stars division heading into tonight’s contest against Dunbar.
Since September, Johnson has landed offers from Kentucky, Auburn, Arkansas, Michigan, UCLA, Iowa, Pitt, Cincinnati and Indiana — adding to a list that already includes Georgia, Miami and Clemson, among others. The only unofficial visit he has set up, for now, is Nov. 16 in Blacksburg to watch Virginia Tech and Maryland, which are also both after the prospect.
“It’s real exciting…a lot of teams are willing to give me a full scholarship to come to their school, so that’s a good thing,” Johnson said of the newest batch of offers. “It complicates it a lot, because I have to look into a lot of schools. Most of the schools I haven’t even looked into yet.”
Johnson also said he has added weight, up about 10 pounds in the past two months. It is all a part of the progression at Woodson, where the workload is heavy. Most offensive coordinators don’t throw near All-Met corner D’Andre Payne, who was in a similar recruiting situation a year ago as a junior. The best example of a test, at least in Johnson’s eyes, was last week against Wilson. The Tigers kept dialing up his number, he said, and it was welcomed.
The pivotal play came in the third quarter, when Wilson was desperate to score after falling down 12 points. On a third down call near midfield, the ball came Johnson’s way on a fade, and he simply stepped in front and beat the receiver to the ball with his length. The game was never close after that.
“For me getting that interception was really big…to help my team win,” Johnson said. “I feel more confident on the field…the coaches tell me that they trust me. They just tell me to play my game.”
As for a college decision, Johnson said he’s going to start sorting out the interest after the season. He’ll plan visits, take calls and confide in his family.
“I should have a top 10 when the season is over,” Johnson said. “I would like to make a decision, probably before my senior year.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 5
The number of consecutive years Good Counsel had lost in the WCAC field hockey championship entering this fall. That streak was snapped Thursday night, when the Falcons broke through with a 2-1 overtime title game victory over five-time defending champ Holy Cross.
— Gaithersburg’s ultra-talented running back Solomon Vault is a game-time decision for Friday night’s undefeated showdown against No. 2 Quince Orchard.
— Yorktown All-Met running back M.J. Stewart is also a game-time decision for Friday night’s matchup against Chantilly, which could have important postseason implications.
— The mettle of unbeaten C.H. Flowers will be tested down the stretch, starting with Saturday night’s matchup against seventh-ranked Suitland.
— Youthful talent will be front and center when traditional Montgomery County powers Seneca Valley and Damascus meet Friday night.
— Meet Steve Williams, the baby-faced 13-year old freshman who is dubbed the quarterback of the future for Wilson.
PHOTOS OF THE NIGHT
VIDEO: STEWART READY TO MAKE THE SWITCH
WHAT TO WATCH
Football: No. 2 Quince Orchard at No. 16 Gaithersburg, at Richard Montgomery, 6:30 p.m.
The consensus game of the year in Montgomery County pits the the undefeated Cougars (7-0) against the unbeaten Trojans (7-0). Quince Orchard has won four straight games by a combined score of 199-7, while Gaithersburg is fresh off a 40-6 win over Magruder.