Newburgh, NY – Deondre Johnson, senior at Newburgh Free Academy West Campus, will sign a letter of intent, committing to attend and play football at Division 1 Rutgers University. Johnson will trade his Blue and Gold Goldback wings for the Scarlet Red Knights this fall. Rutgers Football program is part of the Big Ten Conference and has an illustrious history of All-Americans, All-Conference Selections, All-East Selections, athletes drafted to play professionally in the National Football League (NFL), and more.
The signing will take place on National Signing Day for Division I football. Athletes accepting Division I and II offers throughout the country will be making their commitments on this day. .
Deondre is a multi-sport Varsity athlete who began playing football with the Newburgh Steelers at the age of 5 and basketball with the Boys and Girls Club’s Newburgh Panthers at 15 years old, before playing on both NFA’s Varsity football and basketball teams throughout high school. He is ranked #2 as a 2023 Top Football Recruit in New York by 247 Sports.
Deondre began playing for the NFA Varsity football team as a freshman in high school. During his high school career, he was a team Captain and a 4-year Varsity letter winner for the Goldbacks. In his time as a student athlete he won multiple Section Nine Championships and was awarded back to back Player of the Year recognitions. In addition, he also was named to the All-State Team, leading NFA in all multiple phases of the game at Wide Receiver, Linebacker, Punter, and more recently Wildcat. On the basketball court, Deondre has played on a Section 9 Championship team, has been named division all-star, and a Varsity845 first team pick.
"Deondre is the best football player to ever to wear our Blue and Gold block N, at 6'8, 200 pounds he dominated the game and led his teammates to multiple Section 9 Titles and a NYS Class AA State Championship appearance. He is a leader and a generational talent and will be surely missed," shared head coach Bill Bianco, who surpassed 100 career wins as Head Coach this season.
In the classroom and community, Deondre is an active member of the NFA West Campus Big Picture Learning program. He is a member of the NECSD My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) program. Deondre has been an active part of the school and district community contributing to speaking events at elementary and middle schools and has played a major role on the student leadership team at NFA West Campus. He has built strong relationships with students, staff members, and families throughout the Newburgh community. He has had an internship at the Newburgh Boys and Girls Club and is currently interning at Temple Hill Academy as a Physical Education Program Assistant. Prior to attending Newburgh Free Academy West Campus, Deondre attended Meadow Hill School and South Middle School.
“I have witnessed Deondre’s tremendous growth on and off the field. He has become more focused academically and maintains a good standing in the community. He is often seen at Youth football games mentoring and encouraging the next generation of athletes. At NFA West Campus, he also lends guidance to younger students to continue to excel academically. He continues to amaze us at NFA West - we love him and couldn’t be prouder of all that he has accomplished and will accomplish in the future.” Ms. Ebony Clark, NFA West Campus assistant principal
“Deondre Johnson is the true definition of success. I have witnessed his growth, maturity and drive as a student-athlete and it has been remarkable to watch. His commitment to being a role model in the Newburgh Community in and outside of school is outstanding. I am confident that he will be an amazing asset to the Rutgers University community! I am so proud of him and wish him only the best!” Ms. Lakeya Stukes, School Counselor.
Deondre will be joined and celebrated by his family, friends, and teammates from the Newburgh Community. We would like to congratulate Deondre, we are very proud of him and all he has accomplished! We wish him the best of luck at Rutgers and know he will represent our Goldback Nation well. Go Goldbacks!
Photo by Melissa Winfield-Corbett