In the Pennsylvania area, one of the biggest diamonds in the rough is Greater Nanticoke Area High School 2024 DE Jaidyn Johnson. At 6’5, 220 pounds, Johnson displays incredible athleticism, 4.8/40 speed, and great leaping ability with a 32 inch vertical. That athleticism has helped him become one of the most athletic defensive ends in the area.
“My biggest strengths are my height and length combined with my speed and quick first step.”
A combination of all those areas has really made Johnson a productive football player for the Trojans as he earned 1st Team All-Conference honors twice and All-Wyoming Valley honors once on the gridiron, but what stands out the most about him is what he can do as a three sport athlete. He has also excelled as a track athlete by being a medalist in track and being one of the top basketball players in the area with two 1st Team All-Conference selections and All-Wyoming Valley honors on the court.
“Basketball helps me as a football player by keeping me active throughout the entire year and helping with my athleticism.”
Already showing the he can hoop and even dunk on the basketball court has given him a ticket to try his hand at football, and it has been a smooth transition for the standout athlete.
“I started playing football in 6th grade when the varsity football coach begged me to play because he thought I could be amazing. I realized freshman year that I can truly become a great player as long as I applied myself correctly.”
The Trojans’ star defender has applied himself correctly to the field and is hoping that he can continue to play the game that he fell in love with at the next level.
“I love football because it’s more than just a sport. The bonds you create with people can last a lifetime and you become a brotherhood with your team.”
Right now, the recruiting process has been a little slow as he is still waiting for his first offer, but he is optimistic that it will certainly pick up for his senior season.
“My recruiting process has been fun! I’ve talked to a bunch of coaches about playing at the next level. No official offers yet, but hopefully soon to come.”
It is not only his physical skills that are impressive, but it is also his positive mentality that also stands out.
“My favorite game ever was my freshman year against our rival. I was injured majority of the season and came back and absolutely dominated.”
The 6’5 towering prospect has the quickness, twitchiness, and first step to make him a tough guy to block already, but for Johnson, he is just scratching the surface on the many tools he can add to his arsenal.
“Some areas I need to improve on are consistently using pass rush moves rather than bull rushing.”
As Johnson continues to add more pass rushing moves to his game, he is also focused on being a leader this season for the Trojans and leading Greater Nanticoke to a big season.
“I think we’re going to be the best Nanticoke team in a while. We show a lot of promise but still have the chip on our shoulders since we still have a lot to prove.”
He is going to impact the Trojans in more ways than just one as he will also play some tight end to help the team’s offense.
“My goals this year for Nanticoke are to go deeper in the district playoffs than last year, and since i’m also going to be playing tight end, to also get some touchdowns.”
It is one thing to talk about Jaidyn Johnson’s raw athleticism, productivity, and versatility on the football field, but it is also important to discuss his leadership and his 3.3 GPA in the classroom as it shows that he is committed to becoming a great student athlete to cap off what is a very intriguing prospect that is willing to do whatever it takes to play in college.
“My message to college coaches is to not be afraid to take the chance on me! I know my own work ethic and capabilities and all I need is the proper stage to showcase it!”