With a tough loss in his rear view mirror, athlete Delando Johnson, from Towson (Md.) Calvert Hall, knows what he needs to do to get ready for next season.
"We had a great season but lost a close one in the championship game," said Johnson. "I'm sad to see the seniors go because we've been playing together for a long time. Since they're gone, I want to step up and become a leader. I like being the guy the team looks to in big moments."
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound athlete currently has offers from East Carolina and Youngstown State, and is garnering interest from a number of big name schools, including Alabama, Michigan, Oregon, South Carolina and West Virginia, among others.
"West Virginia came to my high school not too long ago," he said. "I've been invited to a couple of unofficial visits at Maryland. I talk to Virginia a lot and I'm going to their Junior Day. Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Miami and Oklahoma have all been sending me a lot of mail lately."
When asked about which schools he has taken notice of, Johnson mentioned two schools.
"Oklahoma and West Virginia," said Johnson. "I'm probably going to visit West Virginia, and Oklahoma is my dream offer right now. I haven't visited Oklahoma yet but my friend Charles Tapper is committed there and he loves it out there."
Johnson knows what he's looking for in his college choice but does not know when he will make his decision.
"Basically what I want to figure out is if the school a good fit for me, will I get to play, what's the weather like and will my family get to see me play," explained Johnson. "My parents, coaches and I haven't really sat down and talked about each school yet. Right now we're just excited about the recruiting process and that I am attracting attention."
Johnson, who recorded 50 tackles, 9 sacks and 6 forced fumbles last season, received an Honorable Mention at the U.S. Army National Combine. He was pleased with his performance but remains focused on improving.
"I was very happy with how I played," he said. "Right now I need to keep doing speed and agility training and lifting to get stronger and fill out my frame."
In addition to Virginia's Junior Day, Johnson plans on attending the MDHigh.com Five Star Showcase in Landover, Md on February 11th and the Nike Sparq Combine in Philadelphia, Pa on February 13th.