December 16, 2013

Rivals250 OL brings family to FSU for official

Finals concluded at Florida State last week and few students are still on campus. But that didn't stop Hazelwood Central (Florissant, Mo) offensive tackle Roderick Johnson from enjoying his official visit this past weekend.

The last time he was on campus, he spent three days at FSU. He got to know the players, toured the campus, saw the facilities and learned more about the academic programs. This time around was mainly for his family, so they could experience what its like to be a student athlete at FSU.

"It was very nice. I had a great time. This time my Dad and my brother came with me. This was my brother's first chance to see the Florida State campus so he was pretty excited," the four-star offensive tackle said. "I've seen everything before on my unofficial visit, so I wanted them to experience it. They did a good job answering all my Dad's questions. He wanted to know what the graduation rates were for minorities, what the ranking is for the (computer science) program. He liked the answers and was impressed. He liked all the answers for the graduation rates."

Redshirt sophomore tight end Gio Newberry was Johnson's host for the weekend. It was a special weekend for the team. Their quarterback Jameis Winston was in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.

"I had dinner with Coach Brewster and some of the other coaches and players. I also hung out with Cam Erving and some of the defensive lineman on the visit. We all watched the Heisman Trophy presentation at Coach Brewster's house. It was great seeing him win. He's a great player and I was very happy he won. It was a special moment."

Although head coach Jimbo Fisher was in New York with Winston, Johnson was able to chat briefly with Fisher by phone.

"He told me he wished he could be there, but I understood he had to be there for his player," said Johnson.

After his unofficial visit, Johnson raved about the relationship he built with the players - in particular the offensive lineman. He liked that they were like a big family. Did he have the same experience this time around?

"The biggest highlight was being around the players again. I hung out with Cam Erving a lot and he told me what it was like there and how Coach (Rick) Trickett is as a coach and how he pushes you and how he loves playing for him," he said. "It was good being around guys you would be around with next year, so that was good. There's always something to do there in Tallahassee and my family liked it as well."

The official visit also gave Johnston time to reconnect with offensive line coach Rick Trickett.

"Coach Trickett talked about having me in the program and how much they need me," he said. "It was casual and relaxing. With Coach Brewster he mentioned
how they need lineman and how I would fit into the offense they are running."

Johnson did not give a timetable of when he could make a decision.

"I don't know. I need to sit down with my parents and see what they think. We'll see," he said.

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