Berrien (Ga.) athlete Ja’Marquis Johnson committed to FAU on Tuesday, joining – at least for the moment – fellow Berrien teammate Jaden Wheeler as a member of the Owls’ 2020 recruiting class.
Johnson is expected to play defense at FAU.
“They are actually recruiting him as an outside linebacker,” Berrien coach Tim Alligood said.
Johnson played safety and wide receiver as a sophomore, linebacker as a junior and moved to quarterback out of team necessity as a senior.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Johnson recorded multiple sacks and multiple interceptions as a linebacker during that junior season.
His relationship with first year coach Willie Taggart goes back to Taggart’s time as coach at Florida St.
“I think he just felt kind of a bond with (Taggart),” Alligood said.
Wheeler, a defensive tackle, committed to FAU last week, but learned a few days later during his official visit that the Owls plan to grayshirt him, bringing him to campus in January.
“He’s going to take his visit to Syracuse this upcoming weekend and he was not planning on doing that before last weekend,” Alligood said.
The weekend commitment of another player at Wheeler’s position prompted FAU’s decision to grayshirt Wheeler.
That player appears to be Orlando-Jones defensive tackle Evan Anderson, who announced his commitment via social media on Monday.
“For him, to be a big guy, he’s so quick twitch,” Jones defensive coordinator Andrew Anderson (no relation) said. “That makes him freakishly athletic.”
The 6-foot-3, 340-pound Anderson has already bench pressed more than 500 pounds. He’s currently a member of the Jones lacrosse team.
“He can run,” Andrew Anderson said.
Evan Anderson chose FAU over Georgia Tech, Kent St. and Massachusetts. He had early interest from Tennessee, Missouri and North Carolina St., but several schools backed away because of a fear his weight would continue to rise.
FAU’s depleted wide receiver corps is about to receive a boost from the addition of Duke transfer Aaron Young, who is already on campus and is expected to be cleared by compliance to join the team in the coming days.
A starter as a redshirt junior in 2019, Young caught 29 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns – with two of those scores coming against Middle Tennessee. In his career Young has 63 catches for 849 yards and seven touchdowns.
He is expected to be eligible to play immediately.
Ten players signed with FAU during December’s early signing period. When the process is complete, Young will be the fourth transfer.
Seven players, including Wheeler, are currently committed to FAU.
Commits become signees when players sign their National Letters of Intent on Feb. 5.