If Jaydyn Johnson turns out to be as good a player as his cousin, Marshall University football fans will be ecstatic.
Johnson, Cabell Midland High School’s star defensive back/quarterback, accepted a preferred walk-on offer from the Thundering Herd. Johnson’s cousin is former Marshall star wide receiver Aaron Dobson, who played for the Herd from 2009 through 2012 before a four-year NFL career with New England, Detroit and Arizona.
Johnson, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, said he expects to play safety or outside linebacker in college. He spurned scholarship offers from Fairmont State and Glenville State.
“I like safety a lot,” Johnson said.
Quarterback, not so much, yet when Knights coach Luke Salmons asked Johnson to move from running back to under center, Johnson agreed without hesitation.
“I didn’t want to play quarterback,” Johnson said. “You have to know everything, what everybody is doing. The coaches told me it was best for our team and I want to win, so I played quarterback.”
That attitude, a 4.6-second 40-yard dash time and Johnson’s strength — he gained 20 pounds of muscle in the last year — made him attractive to Herd coaches.
“It’s been my dream to play at Marshall since I was little,” said Johnson, who plans to major in physical therapy. “The old staff offered me a walk-on opportunity and the new staff watched my film and talked with my coaches and honored it.”
Johnson could be an under-the-radar gem. Because of an injury his junior season and COVID-19 restrictions his senior year, Johnson has played just six games in two years. Last season, he made 48 tackles and two interceptions and ran 49 times for 600 yards.
1,000s GALORE: Chesapeake girls basketball star Maddie Ward scored her 1,000th career point Thursday in the Panthers’ 29-23 victory over South Point.
Fairland’s Aiden Porter, just a junior, scored his 1,000th career point Friday in the Dragons’ 71-34 triumph over Rock Hill. New Boston’s Tanner Voiers hit the 1,000-point mark Friday in the Tigers’ 61-60 win over Portsmouth Notre Dame, the same night Ashland’s Cole Villers scored No. 1,000 in a 65-33 win over Russell. River Valley’s Hannah Jacks topped 1,000 points in a 58-27 victory over Meigs.
CONDOLENCES: Prayers are requested for the family and friends of former Russell and Vinson football coach Ivan McGlone, who died last week.
McGlone posted a 316-151 record. He won two state championships with the Red Devils.
RECRUITING ROUNDUP: A trio of Huntington High football players signed play college football. Cornerback Devin Jackson signed with Fairmont State, defensive back Skylar Arthur with Alderson Broaddus and tight end Eli Archer a preferred walk-on offer with West Virginia University. Another former Highlander, linebacker Brocton Blair, made his transfer from WVU to Fairmont State official.
Spring Valley quarterback Jack Roy signed with West Virginia State, while Timberwolves offensive lineman Bryce Biggs opted to accept an offer from WVU and multi-position standout Zane Brumfield signed with Glenville State. Ironton linebacker Cameron Deere and wide receiver Trent Hacker signed with Tiffin University, as did Gallia Academy running back James Armstrong.
Ashland wide receiver J.T. Garrett and linebacker Triston Rayburn signed with Kentucky Wesleyan University. St. Albans wide receiver/quarterback Jaimelle Claytor signed with Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College.
Wheelersburg safety Gage Adkins and wide receiver Matthew Miller signed with the University of Pikeville. Portsmouth West offensive lineman Eli Tilley signed with Ashland University. Johnson Central running back Dylan Preston committed to the University of the Cumberlands, which offered his teammate, tackle Lucas Wyatt.
New Boston basketball standout Tanner Voiers received an offer from Kentucky Christian University. Marshall offered Cabell Midland quarterback/defensive back Jaydyn Johnson a preferred walk-on opportunity. Martinsburg running back Naieem Kearny signed with Georgetown University.
Poca linebacker Dillon Taylor signed with West Virginia State. Minford volleyball player Ally Coriell signed with West Virginia State. Belfry running back Isaac Dixon and South Charleston wide receiver Donavin Davis accepted preferred walk-on offers from WVU.
Fairland softball standout Libby Judge committed to Ohio Valley University. Dragons bowler Trenton Fuller committed to Shawnee State. Kentucky Christian offered Gallia Academy quarterback Noah Vanco. Wheelersburg soccer player Aaron Jolly signed with Mount Vernon Nazarene University. His twin sister, Lauren, signed to run track and play volleyball at the University of Rio Grande.
NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES: Portsmouth Notre Dame’s Ava Hassel became the Titans’ girls basketball program’s all-time leading scorer Wednesday, surpassing Jenn Arnzen’s record of 1,289 points, set in 2013.
Vinton County won its fourth consecutive Tri-Valley Conference girls basketball title last week. Rose Hill Christian’s girls basketball team’s 8-4 start was the best for the program since 1999-2000. Former Sciotoville East offensive lineman Blaine Scott, who played seven game at WVU, has entered the transfer portal.
A trio of former Fairland basketball stars now at Cedarville University set career-high marks last week. Junior forward Kollin Van Horn scored 26 points in a 99-87 loss to Malone. Sophomore forward Allie Marshall scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds in an 84-42 triumph over Ohio Valley Christian, and junior Emily Chapman issued eight assists in an 83-70 loss to Tiffin.
Coal Grove basketball star Addi Dillow was selected to play in the Dayton Senior All-Star Classic March 16 at Bethel High School. Bellamee Sparks set a Rose Hill Christian record with 24 rebounds Saturday in a 43-21 victory over Maysville St. Patrick.