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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2025 DL Matthew Johnson Holds Notre Dame in High Regard

May 29, 2023

2025 De La Salle (Calif.) defensive lineman Matthew Johnson‍ wasn’t at the school last week when Al Washington stopped by, but he quickly found out he had good news in the form of a Notre Dame offer. 

Now, Johnson isn’t new to offers from big-time programs, but this one meant a great deal to him and his family. 

“it was huge for me,” Johnson told ISD. “I‘ve been watching Notre Dame since I was five or six years old. My dad has always rooted for them every year, so it was big. My family is super excited. It’s a very prestigious school academically and football-wise. I was pretty amazed and excited.” 

Notre Dame isn’t a stranger to De La Salle as the program’s all-time sacks leader, Isaiah Foskey, comes from the program and then 2023 tight end signee Cooper Flanagan arrives on campus in a few weeks. 

Johnson has gotten to know Flanagan well over the last year as the two were teammates and the tight end choosing Notre Dame stands out. 

“I’ve actually never met Isaiah, but I played this year with Flanagan as we both played on the defensive line,” stated Johnson. “It was really good to see what type of guy he is and that he would pick a school like Notre Dame. If he thinks that highly of Notre Dame, it says a lot to me.”

The early attention in his recruitment has come quickly, but Johnson is focused on enjoying the process while also keeping in mind he has work to do. 

“It’s definitely a blessing,” Johnson explained. “I wake up every day and feel super blessed. There will be a lot of decisions and I still have a lot more work to do in high school. I have to keep my priorities straight, but it’s not lost on me. I thank God every day for it.” 

Johnson entered last season as a defensive end and this year, he hopes to start on the interior of the De La Salle defensive line. 

“Last year, I started out at defensive end and I was out for most of the season with an ankle injury,” Johnson said. “When I came back later in the year, I couldn’t move as well, so they moved me to three-tech. I kind of found out I liked the three-tech a lot. It’s one of my favorite positions to play on the defensive line. 

“I’m trying to play at about 265. That will be a good weight for me this season. I’m hoping to play on the interior and on the edge as needed.” 

As for his summer plans, Johnson hasn’t set any out-of-state visits, but plans to earn more offers by attending one of the biggest camps in the country this summer. 

“No visits scheduled yet,” stated Johnson. “I’ll be at the Sac State mega camp hopefully and probably the San Jose State camp as well.” 

Johnson has started to tally a nice offer list, but when asked if there was an offer he really wanted to earn, it appears he might have it. 

“Notre Dame was a big one for me,” said Johnson. “I’m definitely looking a lot at the Midwest, especially Big Ten schools, but Notre Dame was a big one.” 

Offers: Arizona State, Cal, UMass, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon State, San Jose State, USC, Washington and Washington State 

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