Johnson ready to make some noise as a Husker
Johnson has been called Dagunduro's
Johnson has been called Dagunduro's "twin"
Publisher
Posted Oct 9, 2005


Having for a teammate currently playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers couldn’t have hurt the appeal the big red had for Compton CC defensive tackle Brandon Johnson. Seeing a game, where the defense showed up, showed heart and never gave up against the most prolific offense in the country couldn’t hurt either. It was all that, of course, but so much more and now Johnson is proud to say he’s a Husker.

If you ask Compton Community College defensive tackle Brandon Johnson to explain just how he feels right now, he can’t. If you ask him to say the first thing that comes to his mind when talking about his Nebraska visit, he pauses and says “It’s unexplainable.”

He can say one thing, though, something that basically encompasses everything he’s feeling right now.

“I’m a Husker,” Johnson said. “I didn’t know coming in if I would be, but I knew once I was there. That is the place anyone should want to be.”

Having a former teammate there is a nice thing. Ola Dagunduro, formerly of Compton has been referred to as one of the “twins”, Johnson being the other half. That was the known commodity, though, and what Johnson was floored by were all those things he didn’t expect.

“People would talk about it, but until you see it you don’t know what to expect,” Johnson said. “I didn’t expect anything of what I saw when I was there.”

“The crowd, the campus, the town, the players, everything was just unreal, man. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

The game itself was also “unreal” in certain ways. A Nebraska team, down by three touchdowns to the most prolific offense in the country in Texas Tech, was one that could have folded up and went home.

That’s what everyone could have expected based on last year’s 70-10 humiliating, but as Johnson noted on a few occasions, this Nebraska team did something that proved to him what they were all about. “It takes something to come from that far down against a team like that and almost win it in the end,” Brandon said. “You can’t be just any team and do that. You have to have heart.”

“This team has got that and the players are the ones that really sold that place for me.”

What they did on the field was fine, but Brandon said that what the players did off the field was even better. He asked questions, they answered and not like a salesman trying to pawn you a car. As Johnson said, they gave it to him straight and that was what made his decision ultimately easy.

“If I had a question, they answered, but they kept it real,” Johnson said. “They told me what was what, how things were and just what to expect. That was enough for me. After all that, I knew this was where I wanted to go. Now, I just want to play.”

Johnson has some playing to do in the meantime, of course, and he’s doing it at an incredible level. Through 5 games, the defensive tackle has 7 sacks and this is off of a three man front. That’s something else to be able to be that effective when you know you are going to get double and sometimes triple teamed every play.

Brandon said that what it takes to succeed when everyone is trying to stop you is a lot of what fans saw from this Husker team on Saturday. “People are going to try and stop you, double team you or whatever,” Brandon said. “You have to fight through it and make sure they know that you can’t be stopped.”

“That’s the attitude you have to have every time you go out there. That’s kind of attitude all these guys on this team (Nebraska) have.”

Brandon is excited, but not quite as excited when we had informed him that two of his fellow visitors had committed just this morning. Fresno City College standouts cornerback Andre Jones and linebacker Steve Allen now mark themselves as the trio that pledged to NU.

Johnson heard it, asked again just to make sure, but his excitement was obvious once it all set in. “Oh man, we are bringing it next year, baby!” Brandon said. “We are bringing it and there’s not going to be anything holding us back.”

Brandon was so excited that he even went on to utter something that Husker fans can recall easily from the comments made by another defensive tackle not so very long ago. “If you want to be at the top, you’ve got to go after the teams that are there right now,” Brandon said. “So, I can’t wait to play USC.”

“They are the best and you want to play the best, because that’s the only way you are going to get to where they are at.”

Again, Brandon can’t describe exactly what he’s feeling. He tries to put it into words that can easily explain how excited and fortunate he feels. He can’t, but Johnson knows that when the Summer rolls around, he’ll be on his way to Lincoln. Then, he’ll be able to put those emotions to rest.

It will be game-time.

“I can’t wait to get there, because we’re not messing around,” Brandon said. “They are going to have a great season this year, but it’s going to be even better next year. That’s when we are going to make some noise.”

Johnson will graduate in May and will have two years to play two.


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