Johnson assuming new recruiting role

Isaiah Johnson

Isaiah Johnson has been one of the most vocal Syracuse commits about staying with the program despite changes, and defensive line coach Tim Daoust paid him an in-home visit earlier this week to discuss a new role he would take among the class of 2013 verbal pledges.

"It was great, just the conversation," Isaiah Johnson said of his meeting with Syracuse defensive assistant Tim Daoust. "He's so genuine and down to earth with everybody, and my family, I loved it."

It wasn't a visit so much to sell Johnson on Syracuse any further, but how to tackle dealing with all the change within the program's coaching staff after the departure of Doug Marrone and five other assistants.

"He was just checking up on me," said Johnson. "I'm not going anywhere, I am the strongest recruit in the class. He wants me to be the floor general, to make sure nobody else de-commits like Zach (Allen) did.

"So I'm like team captain."

"I've been wanting to do this," he continued. "This is a great chance for me to grow up as a young man to build my leadership, how I talk to people and my persuasiveness. I want to give motivation and inspire people to do what's right.

"I just want to keep them all intact."

With a new goal in addition to everything he must take care of on and off the field before enrolling later this year, Johnson has a priority of players to speak with.

"It started with Austin [Wilson], but that's some behind the scenes stuff," he said.

As for his message, it will be along the lines of sticking with your word and building something bigger in a new conference.

"Just because Marrone and some other guys left, it doesn't change how Syracuse is going to play," he maintains. "We're the defense, we're still play hard no matter what."

The defensive end prospect knows what's in front of him leading up to national signing day on February 6, but he has goals for himself both before and after the busy day.

Said Johnson, "I'm just trying to get in better shape. Bettering myself so I can be the strongest and fastest as can be."

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