June 5, 2024

South Sumter High’s Rashad Johnson Jr. One of Central Florida’s Top Unsigned Players

2 min read| Published On: June 5th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

South Sumter High’s Rashad Johnson Jr. One of Central Florida’s Top Unsigned Players

2 min read| Published On: June 5th, 2024|

Rashad Johnson Jr. is one of the top unsigned safeties in all of Central Florida. Just looking at this guy’s tapes, you can see greatness in every snap he takes on the field. Johnson Jr. is headed into his senior year, and South Sumter has truly turned this guy into one of the elite safeties in high school football.

The 6’2, 185-pounder is a 4-star recruit. In 2022, he had 51 tackles, 5 PBUs, and 2 interceptions. In 2023, he helped South Sumter to an 11-2 record and got the Raiders to the Regional Finals, nearly beating Cocoa High and making the state semifinals last year.

“Rashad is just a very special, humble young man. He brings 100% effort and enthusiasm every day. He has been starting at safety for us since the 9th grade. He’s such a joy to coach and that rubs off on other guys in the locker room who see that. He takes constructive criticism well,” says South Sumter Coach Chris Gauntlet.

In 2023, Johnson Jr. was credited with 59 tackles with 6 tackles for a loss. He also had an interception, a forced fumble, and a sack. Offensively, Johnson Jr. also caught 9 passes for 209 yards and 3 touchdowns.

“He has made the people around us better. We have an amazing group of talent and Rashad just elevates us even further. He is football smart, understands concepts, and this group of guys coming into 2024 is one of the best defensive back groups we have had here at South Sumter High,” says Coach Chris Gauntlett.

Johnson Jr. is not just a football athlete but also competes in Track & Field. His personal best is an 11.35 in the 100M dash and 24.03 in the 200 while also competing in the long jump. As far as speed goes, those are good numbers and you can see why wide receivers have a hard time finding space with this guy. He simply does not allow any of it.

Johnson Jr. has offers from the University of Georgia, Louisville, Penn State, Texas A&M, UCF, Akron, Alabama, Boston College, FIU, Bethune-Cookman, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Miami, Michigan State, Oregon State, among many others.

This kid is primed for big things in 2024. Coming into his final year of high school, he just looks like a Division 1 athlete. Johnson Jr. is a player that I could see in the NFL draft one day. While there are always things to work on, Johnson Jr. has the “it” factor. He’s everything a safety should be. Quick, nimble, football smart, and extremely athletic. He’s a Division 1 head football coach’s dream athlete.

Johnson Jr. will be one of the top athletes to keep our eyes on as we head into the 2024 season. While we are unsure of his 2025 plans, this young man has the opportunity to go anywhere he wants with his athletic ability.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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