By MARCUS HELTON
While 2013 guard Nigel Johnson committed to George Washington University in September, it looked to be a recruiting coup for the Colonials, especially as Johnson put together a stellar season at Riverdale Baptist.
Johnson held off on signing his National Letter of Intent, though, and Friday he officially announced that he was decommitting from GW and reopening his recruitment.
“I felt like when I made the decision and committed, I feel like I rushed it a little bit and I didn’t really take my time and think about it,” Johnson said Friday. “You get five visits and I only took two, so I mean, I really didn’t explore any options so I feel like I rushed it a little bit. … I’m not really leaning anywhere, I’m basically just waiting to see [who is interested].”
Johnson - who finished No. 11 in DMVelite's 2013 class rankings - said he informed GW coach Mike Lonergan of his decision before announcing it publicly.
“Yeah, they were the first people I talked to, I talked to them last night,” he said. “I wouldn’t say he was mad; he’s still hoping I’d go there, but he understood that I’m open and my reasons.”
Johnson said George Washington is still in the picture, and he is not planning to go to prep school or play another summer of AAU ball. At the time of his verbal, Johnson also held offers from Lehigh, UNC-Greensboro, Bucknell, Holy Cross, American, Florida International, Northeastern and William & Mary, among others. George Washington and Lehigh were the only schools he visited.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Johnson shined in his lone season at Riverdale after transferring from Broad Run (Va.) He averaged 17.9 points per game while leading the Crusaders to the inaugural Capital Beltway League title and also earning CBL Tournament MVP honors.
Johnson starred at Broad Run, where he led the area in scoring as a junior at 29.5 points per game – including a 55-point performance – while also setting a Virginia Group AAA record with 211 assists in a season. As a sophomore, he led all Group AA players in scoring (Broad Run moved up to AAA the following season).
Despite those numbers, Johnson admitted that he came in to his senior year with a chip on his shoulder.
“I knew coming in that people were saying, ‘Oh, he’s doing that ’cause he’s out there playing against all those Virginia kids,’” Johnson said. “A lot of people didn’t think I was going to be able to do the same things, so I felt like it was my mission to come out there and do the same exact thing, and that’s what happened.”
Nigel Johnson photo by Charles Matthews of DMV Elite/RH Media Group.