Marcell Johnson to play football at James Madison University

February 17, 2014 

Knightdale’s Marcell Johnson signs with James Madison University’s football program on Feb. 5, 2014.


High School: Knightdale

Parents: Wanda Pittman and Derrick White

Position: Linebacker, safety

Also Considered: Western Carolina University

Why James Madison? Marcell likes the environment at the Harrisonburg, Va. school and the mix of “what they’ve got for athletics and academics.” He said expecting to play as a freshman was another significant perk.

Target Degree: Business Management, minor in Sports Management. His goal is to be a sports agent.

Most Memorable: “Winning the (Greater Neuse River 4A) conference and having the best season in school history my senior year. And for me, personally, the 92-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown at Scotland (High School, in the third round of the state playoffs).

Notable: Marcell is a four-year varsity starter and two-year All-Conference football player for the Knights, named Defensive Player of the Year his senior season. He has been a member of five state champion relay teams in track, and competed in relays and sprints on three of the Knightdale boys’ seven consecutive state title teams. He’s also been a member of the Knights varsity basketball team for three years.

Knightdale coach Rob Senseney: “He’s a hard worker, very humble, always a kid where you knew what you were going to get out of him every day. He came up (to varsity) and played the West Johnston game as a freshman and got hurt that game. Our stats on defense dropped tremendously the next game, without him. He’s finally going to focus on one sport – he’s a 365-day athlete with football, track and basketball. I expect him to bulk up and be monstrously big and be a big asset for (James Madison).”

Compiled by Aaron Moody

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