Second time in like three days Rivals gives away something in their teaser:
This linebacker committed to Miami back in June. And, as of a week ago, he planned to be on Miami's campus this semester. But now, in an about-face, he has decommitted to Maryland.
Javarie Johnson is a gigantic commit, probably the best in the class so far. Remember when I talked about Brandon Coleman and Tony Grimes? He's probably bigger than those two.
Johnson was originally a Miami commit, and this came relatively out of the blue. Yesterday he was a Cane; now, apparently, he's a Terp. Haven't seen a reason yet. It'll make for fun games when Maryland visits Coral Gables and when the U comes to College Park. He's also from Dunbar, and having a connect there is a pretty positive thing.
When you think of a traditional Miami type of player - ultra-athletic and fast - Johnson fits in pretty well. He has really good size for the OLB spot or amazing speed for the DE spot; its ironic that Maryland got rid of the 3-4 and LEO as soon as we got the athletes to run it properly. As it stands, he could end up at either OLB or DE at this point, switching in and out with fellow athletic freak David Mackall.
What has Maryland really lacked the past few years on the DL? Well, a lot of things, but one of those things is speed rushers. Johnson fits that to a T; he's a monster coming off the edge against the pass. I do have minor concerns about his coverage ability and play against the run at his size depending on where he ends up, but he has unbelievable potential as a pass rusher either as a DE or LB. I'd personally prefer he bulk up and move down to DE, but that would take more time than putting him at LB. Mackall may be more ready there.
Regardless, this is a huge pickup. It's worth noting how incredibly Maryland is finishing this class given the season they just had. I believe James Franklin was the main recruiter on this one, and if so, I have a little more confidence in him as head man. Finish up with either Tony Grimes or Brandon Coleman and this class would actually be very good.
Update 01/10/10 4:11 PM EST - Another link here, this time from ESPN with a reason given.
"Basically, he just wanted to be closer to home and he chose Maryland over Miami," said Dunbar High assistant coach Ashaa Cherry.