Pendleton defensive end Brad Johnson was sitting in church Sunday morning well aware that one of the biggest decisions of his life was only days away.
Johnson, who was set to make his college choice between South Carolina and Virginia Tech in the upcoming week, had a moment when he realized he wanted to be a Gamecock.
“I was sitting in service and just had something come over me,” he said. “I stepped outside. I talked to my mom in the back and we talked about it for a little bit. I called Coach (Will) Muschamp and Coach (Justin) Fuente right after that.”
Johnson made his decision to attend USC official on Wednesday, signing with the Gamecocks in front of family members and friends at a ceremony at Pendleton High.
The four-star prospect, who also had offers from Tennessee, Texas A&M and others, said he was relieved to have the long recruiting process come to an end.
“I’ve been waiting my whole life for this,” Johnson said. “This is the biggest accomplishment of my life so far, and I can just wait and see what God has in store for me.”
When Johnson delivered the news to Muschamp on Sunday he opted to joke with USC’s head coach before delivering the good news.
“I made it seem like I was going somewhere else and kind of snapped him back in,” Johnson said with a laugh. “He told me he was going to strangle me when he sees me. I hope he doesn’t.”
After Muschamp laughed off the way Johnson delivered the news, he was excited to land the versatile defender, who is ranked as the third-best player in the state according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
“He was kind of relieved. He took a deep breath at the end of that conversation,” Johnson said.
South Carolina plans to use Johnson as a BUCK, which is a hybrid defensive end/linebacker. He feels he is suited well to play the position.
“I feel like it fits me perfectly with my athletic skill set and everything I bring to the table,” he said. “I feel comfortable with it and I’m ready for it.”
Johnson is rated as a four-star prospect, the No. 22 weakside defensive end and the No. 311 overall prospect in the country according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
With Johnson’s commitment the Gamecocks have landed the top three players in the state for the class of 2017 in OrTre Smith, Shi Smith and Johnson.
Johnson plans to enroll in June or early July and is hoping to make an impact as a freshman. He expects to major in business.
“I’m definitely relieved to have this all behind me and the whole world in front of me,” Johnson said. “I’m eager to get on campus and get started.”