Marquavious, Marcell Johnson take different college routes with family-first attitude

Posted February 5, 2014

Marcell Johnson (left) and Marquavious Johnson sign their National Letters of Intent Wednesday to James Madison and East Carolina, respectively.

— The Johnson family will only need to buy one color next year as they support brothers Marquavious and Marcell - purple. They may need to split up to be in attendance on Saturday, however, as Wednesday Marquavious signed his National Letter of Intent to play at East Carolina while Marcell signed his papers and will head north to James Madison.

The Knightdale High School products made their declarations official in front of a packed media center at the school complete with a cake and punch.

Marcell, a 6-foot-2 defensive back and linebacker, saluted the family and their support, saying, “I couldn’t do anything without them. We are a close family and we talk about everything.”

Marcell, who will enroll in summer courses and hopes to study business management, said that his visits to JMU, and with new head coach Everett Withers (formerly of North Carolina and Ohio State), reinforced the family atmosphere.

“I hung around the players and they seem a lot like family,” Marcell said. “That’s the main goal, I want to be around family. They seemed more like family than anywhere else. It’s like the second home away from home.”

Marcell also figures to get a shot at playing right away for the Dukes.

“(Withers) said he’s going to give me a shot and the shot is what I make of it,” Marcell said. “I plan on working hard to the best of my ability to get that starting spot.”

Closer to home in Greenville, Marquavious said he also hopes to see the field early, but he will do so on the offensive side of the ball.

“I was told that I would be at slot receiver and they would run me at kick returner and punt returner,” said Marquavious. “My goal is to just go have fun and take care of business on and off the field.”

The 5-foot-10 Marquavious said that in his recruiting, he watched a lot of ECU games and he feels like he could fit into the offense. He may have to race for it with head coach Riffin McNeill, though.

“Every time I meet him, he says he can run faster than me,” Marquavious said. “One day I’d like to see that.”

Separated by state lines and logos, but united by the color purple next year, neither Marcell nor Marquavious are taking their opportunity for granted.

“Knightdale has taught me a lot from my freshman year to now. So much that I feel ready to take this next step,” Marcell said. “It just so happens that I am leaving North Carolina, but that is something I wanted to do - just see more of the world and be independent.”

“Getting a full scholarship, that was a blessing,” Marquavious said. “I didn’t think that would ever happen to me.”


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