In the latest edition of the GatorCountry.com Recruiting Podcast, Gator Country’s Sean Crawford and recruiting analyst Andrew Spivey catch up with Roderick Johnson, an offensive linemen from American Heritage High in Delray Beach, Fla.
Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 300-pounder, talks about his recent verbal commitment to the Florida Gators, his thoughts on UF offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis, what it was like to get a scholarship offer from Will Muschamp himself, how he’s building relationships with fellow Gators pledges Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane and much, much more.
Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the transcript and click on the tab to hear the complete, unedited audio from this Gator Country exclusive interview with future Florida Gators lineman Rod Johnson.
Sean Crawford: Welcome into another edition of Gatocountry.com’s recruiting podcast. I am Sean Crawford joined by recruiting coordinator Andrew Spivey. On this edition we will welcome in Delray Beach offensive line commit for the Gators, Roderick Johnson. Before we bring Rod in Andrew, what’s he going to bring to the table for Tim Davis’ offensive line?
Andrew Spivey: Rod is a guy that can play both the tackle position and the guard position — a guy that’s just now actually learning the offensive line position in only his third year of high school football coming up. A guy that has just got tremendous upside – he’s a very good pass blocker, but an elite run blocker right now. Like I said, a guy with just tremendous upside that the sky’s the limit once he gets on campus and gets you know under Coach Tim Davis.
Sean Crawford: Alright, let’s welcome in Rod right now. Rod how does it feel to get your commitment over and done with early? You committed earlier in the year and now you’re just looking forward to your senior season at American Heritage.
Rod Johnson: Oh, it feels good you know getting my recruitment out of the way; I feel relief, I feel like I’ve got stress off my shoulders and ready to be a Gator.
Andrew Spivey: Now, Rod you kind of were a guy who didn’t really have a lot of offers and then recently the Florida offer and a couple came in. What was it like to finally pick up that Florida offer and what kind of set Florida apart that made you commit to Florida?
Rod Johnson: The Florida offer I was real excited about when I first got offered because I was offered by the head coach Will Muschamp – great guy – and I was like real excited because it was my first SEC offer. I was totally amazed that they had offered me.
Andrew Spivey: When you went down on a visit you know you left Florida and then the next morning you called Coach Muschamp right up and told him ‘I want to be a Gator.’ What was it that you know on that visit that kind of set it apart you know when you went home and you decided to be a Gator?
Rod Johnson: Well, being around some of the players, being on campus, seeing the spring scrimmage – it was kind of intense and everything; it kind of reminded my high school – it was kind of good. They wanted me to commit like on the campus, but I wasn’t really sure until I got in the car and started driving home. I talked to my coaches when we had dinner and I decided that night I wanted to commit so I got up that morning and gave Coach Muschamp a call.
Sean Crawford: Now, Rod how does it feel to know that you’re going to be blocking for guys like Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane moving forward into 2013.
Rod Johnson: It feels good. You know we talk to each other on the phone sometimes trying to start early team chemistry.
Andrew Spivey: Now, Rod you’ve been able to see Coach Pease’s offense. What are your impressions of Coach Pease’s offense and how do you think you’ll fit in to the offense moving forward?
Rod Johnson: Fitting in the offense, just being a pro-style offensive lineman; run blocking, pass blocking, just learning everything else mentally.
Sean Crawford: Now, Roderick in terms of your game on the football field, what part do you kind of want to improve on before your senior season starts in fall?
Rod Johnson: Staying consistent every play, getting stronger in the weight room, and being outrageous on the field.
Andrew Spivey: Now, Rod what is your relationship kind of like with Coach Davis and what are your impressions with Coach Davis so far?
Rod Johnson: Coach Davis is a pretty hype coach. I talk to him every once in a while. We have some real exciting phone calls – it’s kind of nice. He was glad that I came up there to watch the scrimmage and he showed me how the o-line works. He’s a pretty cool guy.
Sean Crawford: Now, Roderick in terms of the rest of the 2013 class, who are some of the other guys that you’ve built some of the strongest bonds with?
Rod Johnson: Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane – that’s it.
Andrew Spivey: What have those guys kind of told you? You know Kelvin is telling everybody he needs offensive lineman to block for him. What has he kind of told you as far as you know what he wants you to do?
Rod Johnson: Basically, we treat each other like family. Every time we talk it’s like ‘Hello what’s up fam; How you doing?’ We always tweet about each other being in Gator Nation. As far as me blocking for him, it’ll be real good because I know he is really good too – Adam Lane, too.
Andrew Spivey: Now, is there any uncommitted prospect right now that you’re trying to join the family?
Rod Johnson: Not that I know right now.
Andrew Spivey: Plans this summer: are you going to get back to Florida and help them recruit? What are your kinds of plans for the summer?
Rod Johnson: Plans for the summer: weight room and running on the field. Probably head to Florida’s Friday Night Lights to compete against some other guys and see how it feels; basically just be around the coaching staff again.
Sean Crawford: Alright Rod before we get you out of here, if you had one message to say to Gator Nation and everybody listening what would it be?
Rod Johnson: UF all the way – we’re fixing to get another National Championship.
Sean Crawford: Already high expectations in the Class of 2013. Well, thanks for coming on with us Rod. Good luck in the rest of your senior season and good luck in your summer plans. That’s going to wrap up this edition of Gatorcountry.com’s recruiting podcast. For recruiting analyst Andrew Spivey, I’m Sean Crawford. As always, catch all of your recruiting podcasts right here at Gatorcountry.com.