Check out this link, some impressive stuff:
One of the top prospects for the 2008 NFL Draft that you have probably never heard of is Brian Johnston. Yes Gardner Webb’s defensive end Brian Johnston is from a small school, but he has big time NFL talent. You don’t think those small school players can compete in the NFL? Just ask the Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen, who was a fourth-round selection (126th overall) out of Division I-AA Idaho State from the 2004 NFL Draft. Johnston is also similar to Dallas Cowboys’ defensive end Jason Hatcher, who was selected in the 3rd round (92nd overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft from small school Grambling. Johnston has similar size (6’ 5” 280 lbs) and production to both of those guys as well as similar NFL potential.
He (Johnston) was named a first-team Associated Press All-American after the 2007 season, this was the second year in a row Johnston has received that distinction. He has also been honored as one of the top small school NFL Draft prospects by well respected talent scout Josh Buchanan. He was also named as a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), and the Walter Camp Football Foundation and is the Gardner Webb Bulldogs’ first consensus All-America since Harold Wells did it in 2004.
This season (2007), the senior Johnston was named Big South Defensive Player of the Year two years in a row, he recorded an impressive 74 total tackles, 37 being solo, a school and conference-record 24 tackles for loss, 6 quarterback sacks and 22 quarterback hurries. He finished ranked No. 2 nationally in tackles for loss on the season, and established new Big South Conference career records for sacks (20.5) and tackles for loss. Johnston finished his career as the top tackling defensive lineman in school history with 268 total tackles.
With the advent of the 34 defense in the NFL, those jumbo defensive ends like Johnston have been much sought after. Johnston has fought almost constant double teams, which is why his 6 sacks don’t look that impressive, but he has proven to be very solid against the run, despite being double teamed, his 74 tackles, 20.5 being for a loss, prove that he can fight through multiple blockers and get to the ball carrier. Very good at using his hands, strong and quick, Johnston plays the game with a non-stop motor. He will have to increase his repertoire of pass rushing moves and continue to train to get stronger and quicker in the NFL, but he has the raw talent and skills to warrant a 4th or 5th round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Update: Johnston played very well in the 2008 Hula Bowl, one of the nation’s better College Football All-Star games. He didn't get an invitation to the 2008 NFL Scouting Combine, but on 8 March 2008 he dazzled scouts at his Pro Day workout. Measuring in at 6-foot-5, 274 pounds, Johnston ran his first 40-yard dash in an eye-popping 4.66 seconds. His slowest time of the day was 4.70, which is still faster than Johnston’s best time a year ago. Johnston’s 40-yard dash time during his pro day, would have been the fourth best at the recent NFL Scouting Combine for defensive ends, and the best for any lineman weighing more than 260 pounds.
His most impressive stat from the 40-yard dash came with a very strong 1.51-second time through the first 10 yards, an important time with regards to a players quickness. By comparison, Johnston's 10-yard split was the same as Arkansas running back Darren McFadden turned in at the Combine earlier this year.
He recorded an impressive 35-inch vertical leap as well, which would have ranked second among defensive linemen at the NFL Scouting Combine – and best for a player of his size.
The most impressive result overall, however, may have been Johnston’s time in the 20-yard shuttle. He turned in a 4.18-second time, which is better than any lineman at the NFL’s Scouting Combine. In fact, the 4.18-second time was faster than any running back at the event – with Illinois’ Rashard Mendenhall the only back to match that time.
A 6.96-second time in the 3-cone, was also impressive, and would rank him third if he would have went to the combine.
“I felt really good after the workout,” Johnston said. “The few scouts who stayed behind [after San Diego State’s players finished] said that it was the best workout of the day, by far, and they were impressed. My agent [Baltimore-based Tony Agnone] told me Sunday that nearly every team in the NFL had called him after getting those results. That’s encouraging for me.”