Building the Bond

Building the Bond

Ready to move out of Fort Lauderdale and experience a new part of the country, Dillard outside linebacker Conard Johnson is starting to reel in offers and interest from other parts of the country, including looks from Wisconsin.

MADISON - With the bow barely tied on the shiny new Class of 2010, coaches have started to turn their focus towards the Class of 2011.

Dillard High School has produced a number of highly recruited players over the years. Next season will be no different. One player that is already receiving interest from big programs is Conard Johnson.

The 5-foot 11, 212 pound linebacker prospect has been getting interest from schools like Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, North Carolina State, Auburn, Clemson, Minnesota, Florida State and Florida. While the offers have yet to start pouring in, Johnson does have one offer from Texas A&M.

Despite the lack of offers, Johnson does have a few favorites, but those could easily change in the future.

"The schools that I'm mostly interested in right now, are schools like Texas A&M really," Johnson told Badger Nation. "You know I love that school, Florida State, Wisconsin and then NC State."

Johnson boasts a 4.58 40-yard dash and is being recruited as a middle linebacker by all of the schools that are giving him interest.

"I'm looking for, you know, great academics with sports medicine, that's my major and everything," Johnson explained. "You know, just to help with a great football team. To bring them up and everything."

Johnson doesn't think that location will be a big factor in his decision. In fact, he is looking forward to a change.

"Location wise, you know, I'm looking forward to leaving Fort Lauderdale," Johnson said. "I'm kind of tired of it down here. I'm looking forward to another place."

Johnson was very productive for Dillard last year. He had 96 tackles, forced eight fumbles, one interception, one touchdown, and eight sacks.

"I'm really powerful in the weight room," Johnson explained. "My weakness is lateral movement. I need to get a little bit quicker and everything."

One of Johnson's current favorites is Wisconsin.

"I've had very good contact with Coach Partridge," Johnson said. "Me and Coach P have been talking over emails and phone and I've been calling him. He came out to Dillard High School and he got a couple of my highlight films. He said he likes it. He saw me play a little 7-on-7 and he told me he was there and everything. He said he was going to get back with me in the spring."

Johnson got really excited when he talked about Coach Partridge.

"I like him," Johnson said. "You know we bond. He is doing the recruiting process real good."

Even though Wisconsin is a good distance from his home in Florida, Johnson has a great impression of the program.

"I think Wisconsin is a really good program," Johnson said. "It's a team capable of getting better during the years. The program is really good, not only in football, but also academic wise. I'm looking forward to visiting there and having a good time."

Wisconsin played in the Champs Sports Bowl for the second consecutive year and Johnson was able to catch a little of their win over Miami.

"I had a chance to watch the bowl game," Johnson said. "It was very good (laughing). I was excited about it. I liked the way their defense ran. It was a good win."

Johnson has a few visits planned for this spring and possibly one further north.

"I have a junior day visit coming up at Florida and also Florida State's junior day," Johnson said. "I am still trying to talk to Coach Partridge about the Wisconsin junior day."

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