January 29, 2013

New decision date for Johnson?

Hutchinson Community College (Hutchinson, Kan.) defensive tackle Toby Johnson is ready to take the next step.

The 6-foot-4, 305-pound defender is currently in his last semester at Hutchinson, and says that he is on the cusp of being ready to enroll at the college of his choice this summer.

"I have to finish up a couple of credit hours. I have to get Public Speaking and Psychology," said Johnson. "Right now I'm doing real well in both. I just have to finish up those classes to graduate. I'm going to finish up and tell everybody not to worry. I'm going to get the job done."

Classwork isn't the only thing that the Georgia native has to finish.

Johnson is in the homestretch of his recruitment, and hosted an assistant coach last night that would love to develop him at the next level in Georgia defensive line coach Chris Wilson.

"It went well," said Johnson of Monday's in-home visit with Wilson. "We sat around talking, and talking it up. We talk about stuff other than football. We talk about school work, and staying on top of my rehab and all that stuff."

Wilson and Johnson aren't strangers, as the UGA assistant was recruiting the Banneker High School product when he was employed at Mississippi State.

The history between the two has allowed Johnson to form a high opinion of Wilson.

"I think he is a good coach," he said. "I like him a lot because he knows a lot about the game. He is a good defensive minded coach. We have a great relationship."

Georgia head coach Mark Richt made the trip to Mississippi recently to meet with Johnson's mother, Barbara Fairley, and she came away with high praise for the UGA head man.

"She was pretty impressed with him," said Johnson. "She was real fired up about it. She just said how much she loved him. She said he was pretty calm, and she felt good about him. She felt like he could get me to the next level."

The four-star defensive tackle told UGASports recently that he may make a decision before Signing Day, but later said that National Signing Day - Feb. 6 - would be when he would likely announce.

Apparently that's no longer true. Johnson said he has plans to take two more official visits, but since there is only eight days until National Signing Day, it appears that his recruitment will end a week later than he had originally planned.

"This weekend I will be taking a trip to Auburn. The next week, I'll be taking one to Mississippi State. Mississippi State will get my last one," said Johnson. "I plan on making a decision on February 13. It just gives me time because this week I was going to try and rush and put both of them in with Mississippi State on Thursday and Friday and Auburn on Saturday and Sunday. It wasn't going to give me enough time to sit down and think about things after my visits. I want to give everybody a fair shot."

With three visits in the books and two left to take, Johnson says that nothing has changed in regards to his leader.

"Georgia still my leader until I take some visits to some other schools," said Johnson. "Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Auburn, and Georgia are who I am considering."

The JUCO standout visited UGA well over a month ago and says there are a number of factors that have kept the Bulldogs on top.

It's a lot of stuff with why Georgia is my leader," he said. "I just felt so comfortable with the guys when I went down there. I really love the coaching staff. The coaches are great. I just enjoyed my time down there."

He insists, however, that although he has a leader, he will take his final two visits before making an announcement.

"I'm going to take those two visits and then decide," he said. "I will know then."

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