By Chris Hays
New Smyrna DB Joe Johnson likes what he sees going on at Marshall under the guidance of new football Coach Doc Holliday, and he's decided he wants to be a part of it.
Johnson committed to the Thundering Herd this past weekend during a recruiting trip.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound defensive back, ranked No. 58 in the Sentinel's Central Florida Top 100, is just one of many Florida commitments Holliday has lured his way. Marshall has 20 commitments for the 2010 recruiting class, including nine from Florida.
"We're trying to change things around up there and about 85 percent of those boys are from Florida. We're going to take over the world soon," Johnson laughed. "Nah but really, that's why I committed up there. It feels like home even though it's far away."
Holliday was assistant coach at West Virginia prior to taking the Marshall job last month. He was the Mountaineers' main recruiting force in Florida but when he left for Marshall, his Florida pull followed.
Johnson picked Marshall over USF, Tennessee State and Western Michigan.
"It was way better than I thought it would be," Johnson said of his visit. "I was blown away by the coaching style. I got the feeling that I was going to be in great hands."
Johnson's ability to play both cornerback and safety will allow his some versatility at Marshall and likely allow him a more speedy ascent up the depth chart.
"I know how to play both positions really well. I watch a lot of film," Johnson said. "And I'll play wherever it will help the team."
"They told me I might be able to start right away. I talked to Coach Doc and he really wanted me to be part of what they are doing. So now I'm part of the Herd."