Former Palm Bay Pirate Running Back Brian Lankford-Johnson Named Big 10 Freshman Of The Week
By Space Coast Daily // October 11, 2016
Boilermaker RB amassed 182 all-purpose yards
ABOVE VIDEO: Purdue Boilermaker and former Palm Bay Pirate running back, Brian Lankford-Johnson makes a 32-yard touchdown against Illinois in the second half of last Saturday’s contest.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Former Palm Bay Pirate running back and now Purdue Boilermaker true freshman Brian Lankford Johnson made a huge first impression in his first start last Saturday.
Lankford-Johnson, who started in place of injured sophomore Markell Jones, led a potent Boilermaker rushing attack with a team-high 127 yards rushing and a touchdown on 18 carries.
He added three receptions for 12 yards and a pair of kick returns for 43 more to amass a game-high 182 all-purpose yards.
As a team, Purdue rushed for 231 yards against Illinois, the most by the Boilermakers against a Big Ten opponent since totaling 298 yards on the ground at Minnesota on Oct. 18, 2014 (13 conference games).
Thanks to another freshman, the Boilermakers won in overtime on the road this past weekend. Purdue freshman kicker J.D. Dellinger recorded the first game-winning overtime field goal in school history as the Boilermakers defeated Illinois, 34-31, on Saturday.
Lankford-Johnson is Purdue’s first Big Ten Freshman of the Week since cornerback Frankie Williams was feted Nov. 26, 2012.
So far this season Lankford-Johnson is second on the Boilermakers with 340 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
LAST MINUTE DECISION
Running for many yards and scoring touchdowns is not new to Brian Lankford-Johnson.
Last season as a member of the Pirates, Lankford-Johnson rushed for 1,814 yards and 22 touchdowns. Only a late season injury prevented the Palm Bay running back from amassing 2,000 yards, as he battled Holy Trinity’s Jashaun Corbin all season for the Brevard County rushing title.
Space Coast daily was on hand last February when Lankford-Johnson signed his letter of intent to Purdue, a decision he did not make until the very last minute.
Lankford -Johnson had just taken a visit to Louisville and was also deciding whether the UCF Knights would be a good choice for him.
ABOVE VIDEO: Lankford-Johnson talks with Alan Zlotorzynski from Space Coast Daily and the Friday Night Locker Room following his decision to sign with Purdue last February. The hat Brian is wearing, well—thats another story.
How last minute was his decision? It was so last minute that once Brian made up his mind that Purdue was his choice, he did not have an actual Boilermaker hat to wear.
Alan Zlotorzynski was covering the event for Space Coast Daily and had been communicating with Brian all morning via text and phone before he signed on February 3.
Brian asked Alan if he could find him a Purdue hat to wear for the signing but after several trips to many sporting good stores in Brevard County, one could not be had.
Finally, Alan visited a store at Melbourne Square Mall and had a hat made for him that simply said, “Lafayette” (Pictured).
Luckily, they were able to do it Boilermaker colors and have it finished in time for the late morning festivities.
In the end Brian’s decision to attend Purdue was based on his comfort level and trust in Boilermakers head coach Darrell Hazell and it was off to West Lafayette, Indiana for the Palm Bay native.
They usually say the rest is history but in this case, history is actually being made by the former Palm Bay Pirate.
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ABOVE VIDEO: Former Palm Bay RB Brian Lankford-Johnson’s TD run vs. Viera in 2015.
ABOVE VIDEO: Interview with Brian Lankford-Johnson after Palm Bay got a big win versus Viera 40-35 in 2015.