North Carroll High graduate Rob Johnson will be returning to the Western Maryland College football team -- but not until 1992.
Johnson, who left the college last spring for "personal reasons," will take classes at Carroll Community College before returning to Western Maryland, said Green Terrors coach Dale Sprague.
Also, Sprague said, former Washington Redskin Anthony Jones has joined the Green Terrors coaching staff.
Johnson left school early in the spring, leaving Sprague without one of the most explosive running backs in the Centennial Football Conference and leaving track coach Doug Renner without his best sprinter and anchor for several relayteams. Johnson had qualified for the conference track championships but withdrew from school before the meet.
At the time, Sprague said he had planned to shift sophomore cornerback Eric Martin from defensive back to Johnson's winch back (or z-back) position. Since then, however, Sprague has recruited several candidates for the slot, including Mark Vergalito, who was the most valuable player in the New Jersey North-South all-star game.
Sprague said Vergalito caught the eyeof several major college scouts at that game but will be a small-college player because of his size -- 5-foot-8 and about 165 pounds.
Sprague said Johnson told him there were two reasons for the planned return to Western Maryland: The North Carroll grad said he liked the academic atmosphere at the school and appreciated the support he had received from Sprague and the admissions office.
Johnson, who willbe a junior as far as athletic eligibility is concerned when he returns, rushed for 971 yards on 207 carries and scored 14 touchdowns in two seasons. He teamed with Eric Frees, who will be a senior this fall and who could become the all-time leading rusher in state collegiate history, as the leading backfield in the CFC.
Jones, meanwhile, was a Redskins tight end from 1984 to 1988. He attended Wichita Statein Kansas.
Jones, who works with WMC track coach Doug Renner at The Pro Image sporting goods store in Cranberry Mall, will be the receivers coach, while former receivers coach Sean Murphy takes over the defensive backs.
Four recent WMC grads have joined Sprague's coaching staff. Former quarterback Mike Hamm will coach the passers; Ben Kling, a four-year starter at offensive center, will coach the defensive line; former defensive back and punter Pat Duncan will coach the defensive ends and place kickers; and Sean Dunn will be a volunteer assistant.