Brandon Johnson stepped up last year, his first season on varsity, and rushed for over 1,000 yards for Westchester St. Joseph, and while he thinks the team could have done better, he put himself on the map as one of Illinois' top rising juniors.
"I mean, I didn't think of it as a big deal," he said of his initial varsity experience. "It was the same as J.V., so I wasn't really intimidated by it. I think it could have went better if everyone listened, but not everyone was on the same page until that last game."
Johnson, 5'9, 190-pounds, reports a 4.51 in the forty yard dash and that breakaway ability is also reflected in his 6.1 yards per carry average from last season. Colleges have started to notice his talent and he is hearing from a handful of them.
"I went to a camp at Baylor, I've been to Oklahoma. I've been getting a lot of mail from Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Ohio University, schools like that, and I've been to a Northern Illinois camp."
Johnson says family ties brought him to those camps in Big 12 country and while down there, he received positive feedback from the Sooners.
"They said they really like me and they said they would give me a call. I like the school, it's a nice place."
As he moves through the process, there is little doubt Johnson will hear from more and more schools and when he does, he knows a couple he hopes will be on the list.
"I want to hear from Northwestern, Penn State, I really like them, and probably Florida State."