6-8, 200-pound, 2-sport freak athlete Deondre Johnson commits to Greg Schiano on his 1st Rutgers trek

NJ Advance Media just caught up with 6-8, 200-pound under-the radar New York athlete Deondre Johnson, who was in the car on his ride home from Rutgers after committing to head coach Greg Schiano on his first trek to campus. Things came together quickly for the Newburgh Free Academy star, who is also a standout power forward and center on the hardwood.

“We had a great day,” said Johnson, who was accompanied to campus by his mother, stepfather and Godmother. “They showed me the entire school and made me feel welcomed for it being my first time on campus. Rutgers is a really great place and I’m proud to call it home.”

Rutgers had been hearing about Johnson for two months, and things checked out when he visited on Saturday. He was as long and athletic as advertised, so Schiano offered and closed the deal .. all in one sitting.

“Coach Schiano offered me, which was a surprise, and was telling me how big of a decision this is and to make sure I was as comfortable as him,” Johnson said. “Then he gave me and my family some time to figure out what we wanted to do. He came back in and we gave him my decision.

“I did not see this coming. I just thought I would get more comfortable with the campus, which I did, too. But, this is special.”

Johnson was recruited primarily by Rutgers safeties coach Drew Lascari, who built a bond with the two-sport star over a short time. The staff developed an academic plan and will work alongside Johnson as he qualifies, and enrolls at Rutgers next summer.

A freak athlete and bonafide Power Five recruit, Johnson could play as many as four positions in P-Way – wide receiver, tight end, defensive end and Edge.

To boast such measurables, Johnson can really run. And not just run, but he’s productive, and a seasoned football player instead of just metrics.

This is a strong under-the-radar grab for Schiano, who snagged another such pledge on Thursday from 6-4, 205-pound Pennsylvania quarterback/defensive back Davoun Fuse, who will play linebacker at Rutgers.

Johnson picked Rutgers over offers from West Virginia and Utah and interest from Colorado State. He is the fifth pledge of Rutgers’ 2023 class, ranked 46th in the country by 247Sports.


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Todderick Hunt may be reached at thunt@njadvancemedia.com.

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