When you talk about great football in the state of Ohio, Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney is near the top of the list. Year in and year out, the football there is high quality and the list of famous alums from the school is legendary. Class of 2006 athlete/quarterback Derrell Johnson hopes to etch his name near the top of that list someday, too.
Johnson, who is 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 44 player in the state of Ohio and from the schools chasing after him don't be surprised if he becomes one of the hottest targets in the state this fall.
"In May I talked to North Carolina, West Virginia, Penn State, Bowling Green, Michigan State, Iowa, Syracuse and probably a few more," he said. "Aside from that I have written offers from North Carolina, Iowa, Penn State, West Virginia, Cincinnati and Akron. I'm talking to Ohio State, Penn State, West Virginia, and North Carolina the most right now. "
Like many other kids in Ohio, Johnson admits he'd like to get an offer from Ohio State. Ohio State has Darrell Hazell in charge of his recruitment.
"Coach (Jim) Tressel is the hometown boy from Youngstown," Johnson said. "That and I've been on campus a few times for camp and junior day. Their campus makes you feel at home. Everything is comfortable there and I like it a lot."
He camped just a while back at Ohio State and he felt like he made a good impression.
"I think I did well," he said. "They had me play both wide receiver and cornerback there. I feel like I did better playing wide receiver."
Johnson will play quarterback again this fall, and he hopes that playing quarterback at a program like Cardinal Mooney will give him a lot of exposure to the Division I college coaches. He previously played at Campbell Memorial where he earned all-area honors.
"I transferred to Cardinal Mooney last year because I felt it was one of the best high schools in the country," he said. "Kyle McCarthy (2005 Notre Dame signee) was quarterback here last year and he was an amazing athlete. He has become a huge inspiration to me, and I really admire him for the way he carried himself.
"He was an amazing leader. He poured his heart and soul into this team and led them to the state championship. I want to be able to fill his shoes and bring Cardinal Mooney another state title."