12.May.2011 Interview: Jabral Johnson

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Jabral Johnson was gracious enough to do an interview for angrybeavs. I thought Jabral would be interesting to interview since he's not from Pac-10 country, and therefore could offer unique perspective. The transcript follows:

Jabral, you committed early to Arizona. How did the Beavers’ recruiters catch up, and ultimately, why did you choose Oregon State over Arizona? Did Arizona do something wrong, or did OSU do something right?

I wouldn't say Arizona did anything wrong. I just think once they received my commitment they felt as if they had the deal sealed and kept going about recruiting others while I had other colleges constantly showing interest …also hearing that Mike Riley had a lifetime contract with Oregon State made me feel more secure about my decision.

How much did Tyrequek Zimmerman’s commitment to OSU factor into your decision?

A lot of people would say that I came to OSU because of Tyrequek, which isnt the case. I have 3 very good friends that attend Texas Tech, but I didn't choose them so Tyrequek didnt have anything to do with my decision, but it does feel good knowing you have someone that you have known attending the same college as you.

You have mentioned in other interviews that weather (i.e. hot & dry) played a part in your commitment to Arizona. Having been through the process, do you think recruits are wary of Corvallis due to its reputation of being a rainy, dreary town? Did schools that were recruiting you use weather (or other “negative recruiting” tactics) against OSU?

Well nice weather is good to have, but after breaking down and really thinking about the future I think I will be able to overcome a little chilly weather, and yes sir a lot of them tried to make me think about how cold it would be and far I would be away from family.

Try not to think too much before answering this question: what was the first thought you, a kid from Oklahoma, had when you first received interest from Oregon State? Did you know anything about the school? Beaver fans would be curious to understand OSU’s reputation or “brand” east of the Rockies.

Honestly the Rodgers brothers came to mind first because I'm originally from Texas, but everyone sees the Beavers on TV here so they're pretty well known.

Talking to your friends, teammates, and fellow recruits, how much do things like co-eds, city life, parties, and other forms of campus life and socializing factor into decisions? On a similar note, are you happy with your social life at Oregon State?

Can't answer that really. When I came to Oregon State they weren't in school, but when I visited other places they were so of course it seems as if the other places partied and had a lot of fun, but i looked at the bigger picture.

My final question is not directly related to Oregon State, but I think it would be interesting if you could shed light on how important the prestige of a recruit’s offer sheet is amongst his peer group. Phrased another way, do kids who receive an offer from Oklahoma look down upon players who don’t get that offer, or receives offers from smaller, less prestigious schools. Or, is it more of a fraternity where players are supportive of each other no matter the offers?

At my school we are all a big family so no matter if you went Division 1or JUCO the love is all the same and we all support each others decisions.

I found a few responses particularly interesting. As fans, we tend to focus on the downside of Mike Riley's long-term deal, but for recruits that stability is a huge positive. It was also interesting to hear about competitors using negative recruiting against Oregon State, and the University's growing reputation in Texas and Oklahoma.

Overall, great insight from Jabral.

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  • JackBeav says:
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    Edit #3: wary

    Mike Riley lifetime contract – 1, angry – 0 :)

    I like the “bigger picture” kids. Mike Stoops loses big on this one.

  • ean says:
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    I like this interview. It seems to me OSU is headed in the right direction. I agree with a lot of what Angry is critical of and see most of his points but I think in the big picture we are headed in the right direction.

  • HopefulBeav says:
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    Nice to hear him say that people from Oklahoma see the Beavers on TV a lot and know about the school. I’m glad you chose to ask that question as that’s something I’ve wondered for awhile now.

  • BeavGirl says:
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    He seems like a good dude and angry picked his questions well. nice interview!

  • locusimperium says:
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    well crafted questions

  • blakesgotanewface says:
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    Look at this Charlie Rose

  • gotmilk says:
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    Impressive all the way around.

  • KC says:
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    Loving this. Fantastic insight Angry, you really should consider doing an interview like this more regularly.

  • uncanny says:
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    Reading that he liked Riley’s stability is making me rethink how I feel about the lifetime contract. I previously failed to think of how important it is for players to know the coach recruiting them will coach them their whole college career. Some schools can recruit by their name, Oregon State is not one of those schools so it is important for recruits to know that Riley will coach them throughout.
    Jabral came off as a good kid and I’m hoping he pans out into a great linebacker for OSU.

    • angry says:
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      I’ve seen other recruits mention that, too, but over time forgot about that perspective. It was a good refresher on one of the positives of that contract.

  • Jason says:
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    Big ups to Jabral Johnson! Really looking forward to seeing him at the LB position in the future.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    OT, but notice that OSU Baseball is using a sports psychologist?

    http://www.oregonlive.com/beavers/index.ssf/2011/05/with_some_help_from_peak_perfo.html

    In addition one to using one for football, as Angry has suggested multiple times, I think Riley should be using the OSU baseball team as an example for his football team, taking his team to a series or two, calling out the examples of ental toughness, chemistry, and he should have OSU baseball players and Casey talk to the football players talk about what it means to be so highly ranked, and how to get there, etc.

  • angry says:
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    Thanks, dudes.

    Any suggestions for questions? I’ve got a couple other guys lined up. Let me know if you want something specific answered.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    are you lining up interviews with new recruits, or older players? If you are including older players, I suggest a set of questions that would be responsive to the changes in coaching for the different position groups – lb, wr, and rb – such that the player is comparing and contrasting the coaching approaches before and after.

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