12.May.2011 Interview: Jabral Johnson
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.