But the two-time defending Interstate Athletic Conference champions may never have had this much talent at once, a development that’s been reinforced over the past five days.
The defensive duo joins highly touted quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., who committed to Maryland in May, as members of Bullis’s rising senior class to pledge to Big Ten schools. The Bulldogs also saw All-Met running back Devonte Williams and tight end/defensive lineman Jonathan Holland sign national letters-of-intent to play at Indiana and Penn State, respectively, beginning this fall.
According to the Rivals.com database, which dates back only to 2002, Bullis has never had more than three Division I football recruits in the same recruiting class.
“It just kind of happened that way, and I think we’ll love playing against each other,” said Johnson, who will remain in Madison, Wisc., through Friday.
Both Brown and Johnson said they knew before these recent visits that the recruiting process would soon be over, and each listed Pittsburgh as the other finalist being considered.
Johnson, a Northeast Washington native who transferred to Bullis from McKinley Tech, said he asked his parents permission to commit to Wisconsin two weeks ago, and got all the confirmation he needed this week. Brown, who transferred to Bullis from Blake before last season, noted the main objective of this past weekend was to convince his family members about his affinity for Penn State.
“I felt comfortable from the beginning with them,” Brown said of the Nittany Lions Thur Thursday morning. “I just wanted to get around and make sure that was the place I wanted to be. I had my whole family up there and I let them see what I loved about it. They definitely understood.”
Brown is a consensus four-star recruit and will begin his collegiate career at linebacker, although he could move to defensive end eventually. He will play both positions for Bullis this fall.
Cilento said Johnson had been recruited as both a defensive back and a wide receiver, but preferred to stay in the secondary at the next level. The three-star prospect will initially line up at free safety at Wisconsin.
“I liked everything,” Johnson said of the Badgers. “It has a great fanbase. It’s a beautiful environment. They’re some great coaches and I could see myself doing great things here in the future.”
As for any friendly rivalries, Brown joked “more of my rivalry is towards Maryland right now.” Though he had double digit scholarship offers, the Terrapins did not recruit him. But that slight has taken a backseat to this fall, when Bullis must deal with the sort of elevated expectations that go hand in hand with recruiting success.
“Now, it’s more time to perfect my craft than just go out and play and try to get exposure,” Brown said. “This team definitely has talent.”
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