04/18/13 — Goldsboro's Johnson signs NLI with Louisburg

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Goldsboro's Johnson signs NLI with Louisburg

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 18, 2013 1:47 PM

Brandy Johnson went searching for the comforts away from home and found them on her second recruiting trip.

There was just something about Louisburg College that appealed to the Wayne School of Engineering senior. She enjoyed touring the small campus and interacting with friendly people, which made her realize she was in the right place.

"I loved it," Johnson said.

Easy enough.

Johnson signed a national letter-of-intent to play volleyball next fall for the Hurricanes, who compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II ranks. She becomes the first-ever collegiate signee for fifth-year Goldsboro High head coach TJ Lancaster.

"I'm so happy for her because I believe this is the perfect opportunity for her," Lancaster said. "I told Brandy if you make a choice, I believe this is your best choice. She is a great person, a great teammate.

"She will always have your back and is always there for her teammates."

Johnson cranked out 349 kills, served 152 aces and recorded 118 blocks during her three-year varsity career with the Cougars. She earned all-Carolina 1-A Conference honors in 2012 and carries a strong grade-point average in the classroom.

Louisburg finished 12-11 with first-year head coach Colby Mangum last fall. The Hurricanes are projected to return just three players after losing their defensive specialist to a torn Achilles and a right-side hitter.

Mangum has spent the offseason searching for hitters and blockers to compliment a pair of returning all-Region X performers. She thinks Johnson can help fill one of those spots, particularly on the right side. The Hurricanes missed a consistent blocker and hitter who could terminate points.

"Brandy has a confidence about her that I really enjoy and it's hard to find that in young teen-agers," said Mangum, a Mount Olive College alum. "She has so much potential athletically with her reach and how long she is. She may be an opposite (hitter) because she has a phenomenal blocking ability.

"I think she has a very bright future ahead of her."

Johnson thinks it's the perfect opportunity for her to shed her "turtle" image and become less shy around people. She will bring numerous intangibles -- hustle, leadership, work ethic and people interaction -- to the court for the Hurricanes.

"I'm a shy person and don't interact unless I have to," laughed Johnson, who plans to transfer to a four-year school and earn a veterinarian degree since she takes care of four pitbulls and three hound dogs at home.

"I like the intensity and how there is more to volleyball than just bumping and hitting the ball over the net. Coach Mangum has talked with me about things I can improve on and how I can contribute to the team."