Massive Dematha Catholic (Md.) offensive tackle Elijah Johnson received a scholarship offer from the University of Maryland in April, and at 6’5, 316 pounds, it’s easy to see why Johnson currently holds 14 offers. Transitioning to his senior year, Johnson is looking for any avenue to help improve his speed, strength and endurance in order to be the Division 1 prospect many people project him to be. Dematha coach Elijah Brooks has an offseason plan that could position Johnson to be the player he strives to be by the time his senior season arrives.
"Mainly, I’ve been working out every single day since the season ended," said Johnson in regards to his offseason workout plan. "We’ve been working on speed training, weight lifting after school and we just started doing field workouts and running plays."
Being a local standout in the DMV area, it should come to no surprise that Maryland coaches have been in contact with Johnson for quite some time. With the local connections established by coach Edsall and his staff, the relationship between the Maryland coaches and DeMatha Catholic coaches could prove useful when Johnson becomes ready to make his decision.
"I’ve been talking to Maryland for a while and coach Brooks told me I had an offer from Maryland and it kind of took off from there."
Johnson’s recruitment primarily falls into the hands of one of the Big Ten’s best, according to 247Sports.
"Coach Locksley is my lead recruiter," Johnson said. "He’s been telling me it’s a great school, great academics, get a chance to play in the Big Ten and play some great football there too."
There are plenty of factors for Johnson to consider withthe offer.
"I was surprised. At first, I was a little excited about it because I have two of my teammates [Lorenzo Harrison and DJ Turner] who are committed there right now and I like what they’re doing with the new facility as well. [Harrison and Turner] are letting me make my own decision, but they’re also trying to recruit me to go there too. They keep talking about the DMV to UMD movement."
As communication between the current Stag and the Maryland coaches has increased since the offer was formerly introduced, the information that Johnson has absorbed has allowed him to fully understand what is expected of student-athletes at the University of Maryland, as well as the benefits of hard work and perseverance.
"I’m learning the coaches are really big on academics and player development. I like that about them. I like that everything around the school is close and easy to access."
Johnson visited College Park recently, and anticipates visiting again at some point.
"I visited yesterday [May 4]. It went really well," he said. "They showed me the plans for the new facilities and got to meet with the O-Line coach, coach Stud and I got to meet with coach Edsall as well. I plan on visiting again, but I don’t have a set date."
The towering prospect stated that all of the 14 schools that have offered him have been in an equal amount of contact. Johnson also stated that there is no pecking order of top schools and wants to "go through the process" before making a decision.
For an offensive tackle of his size, Johnson possesses a balanced amount of power and speed, but also knows that there is always something to improve upon as the level of competition begins to stiffen up.
"I’m low off the ball. I’m physical and I’m also quick off the ball as well," said Johnson . The prospect is keying in on improving his strength and speed as his high school career reaches the finish line. An announcement is not set in stone right now for Johnson, as he is still feeling out which university best suits him.