Easily one of the most under-rated players in the West region this year, regardless of position, is Compton (Calif.) Dominguez running back Brandon Johnson. Johnson is a big time talent with double digit scholarship offers but for some reason, rarely gets mentioned when the subject comes up of who are the top backs in the West.
Johnson, 5-10, 185 pounds was a 1st team all-state underclass selection last year after rushing for 1,490 yards and 22 touchdowns while averaging close to 10 yards a carry. The back is more quick than fast but has a nice burst, is very strong and has excellent balance and vision. If you're looking for a Pac 10 comparison, Johnson has similar size and running style to UCLA's Chris Markey.
The Dons are 4-1 on the season losing a heartbreaker to Loyola (Calif.) two weeks ago. Johnson has rushed for 523 tough yards and 11 touchdowns running behind a line that lost all five starters from a year ago.
"Our line is doing their best but I'm definitely a lot more sore after each game this year," Johnson joked. "We were huge last year and the holes were big too but overall, things are going well and I'm running hard and just trying to do my part."
On the recruiting front, Johnson said Cal and Nebraska have both recently verbally offered joining a host of other schools on his list.
"I still haven't set up any of my visits yet," Johnson said. "I want to wait until after the season to do that. Right now, I just want to focus on out season and plus when I take my visits, I want to spent as much time there as possible and not just go out on a Saturday and come home the next day. I want to be able to take everything in, see all of the campus, this is a huge decision for me and I want to be as informed as possible.
"Oregon is probably still my top school but I'm not hearing from them as much as before. I still want to take a visit there. Oregon and Cal are the two schools I know I'm going to visit. Tennessee has been talking to me recently too and if they offer, I'll definitely visit there. Boise State and Washington are two other possibilities and those are probably the two schools recruiting me the hardest right now."