Article about Johnson and others. http://articles.philly.com/2013-05-21/news/39421279_1_rutgers-camden-camden-county-college-graduate-school
I cut and pasted the stuff on him below:
Brett Johnson, a promising middle-distance runner from Ocean City High School, N.J., hit one of his biggest goals this year - he broke a four-minute mile. But it didn’t happen at the University of Virginia, where Brett started. He transferred in January to the University of Oregon after a disappointing turn of events.
Virginia was a tough adjustment from the start.
“I had a lot of expectations on myself,” said Brett, 22. “I thought I’d be able to come in and pick up right where I left off as a high school standout. But I was running against guys a whole lot better than I was.”
Brett also discovered he had to put more time into his studies than he planned and wasn’t sure on a major but picked education because he was required to under NCAA rules. He later switched to behavioral psychology, which he figured he could adopt without a difficult adjustment.
“Running was at the forefront of what I wanted to do,” he said.
With time, he adjusted to the academics and the running competition - and won at the Penn Relays his sophomore year. But junior year proved the most difficult time of his life. Jason Vigilante, the coach that recruited him, resigned.
“Everything in my world,” Brett said, “gets turned upside down.”
Brett didn’t make the Olympic trials as he had hoped. And his roommate, best friend, and running rival, Robby Andrews, turned pro with Adidas.
Brett didn’t gel with the new coaching staff, and they ultimately decided to part ways. He could have finished his education at Virginia on a free ride but wanted to run. He is paying some tuition and room and board at Oregon. Annual tuition and room and board for an out-of-state student is about $39,000.
Also his junior year, he was in a serious moped accident, which changed his outlook. He was going 45 miles an hour when a car T-boned him. He flew 25 feet and landed head first on asphalt. He doesn’t doubt he would have died without a helmet - a chilling fact because he had been riding earlier that day without one.
Brett was ready for a change. He connected with the Oregon coach and started there in January.
“It’s been awesome,” he said. “Obviously, as a runner and a miler, your biggest goal is to break a four-minute mile. The fourth race, I broke four. . . . Honestly, I think I rededicated myself.”
He will graduate next March.
Brett hopes to get a professional contract so he can run after graduation. Since his moped accident, however, he takes things one day at a time.
“Every day, I come to practice, I’m excited,” he said. “It’s a day I get to practice.”