April 2, 2012

Dawgs offer Juco DL

Sometimes things have a way of coming full circle in the recruiting world, and Hutchinson Community College (Hutchingson, Kan.) defensive lineman Toby Johnson is grateful for that.

As a 6-foot-4, 230-pound defensive end coming out of high school, Johnson had academic issues that caused schools to shy away from offering him, but after a year at prep school, and a year at Hutchinson, Johnson is approaching two dozen offers.

Now, Johnson measures in at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds, and his latest offer will give him an opportunity to return to a place that he never intended to leave in the first place.

"Georgia called me and offered today," said Johnson. "I was very, very happy with the offer. When I was coming out of high school, I told myself I didn't want to leave the state of Georgia no matter what. I like it here, but I didn't want to leave, and it makes me happy to know I have a chance to come back."

The Georgia native received a call from a Georgia defensive line coach Rodney Garner, and was told exactly why the UGA staff thought he would be a great fit in Athens.

"Coach G called me, and told me they want to offer," he said. "He told me that they like my quickness and the way I make plays. They told me I would fit in their defense, and they want me there."

Although Johnson was excited about the Georgia offer, it is another SEC east team that has made the biggest impact on the JUCO star, and he is willing to name them his leader at this stage of the process.

"Right now, Tennessee is my leader," he said. "I'm happy with the Georgia offer and I want to see more, but Tennessee was one of the first schools to offer me, and they have been recruiting me the hardest. I have them on top because they are the only school I have visited and all that."

As a player that is three years removed from being a high school athlete, Johnson, who is scheduled to graduate in December, has had an opportunity to figure out many things about himself and his future.

He also knows exactly what he is looking for when deciding on where he wants to end his college career and when he wants to make that decision.

"I'm looking for a school that is like a family," he said. "I want the ability to earn playing time, and a chance to get to the next level. I also know I want to commit before our season begins. I want to be done by then.?

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