June 11, 2012

JUCO DT opening eyes

At the start of every recruiting cycle, every coaching staff in America goes through their list of prospects and highlights the guys that can come in and help right away.

Hutchinson Community College defensive tackle Toby Johnson, for multiple coaching staffs, is one of those guys.

At 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, Johnson certainly has the size to step in and help a number of programs, but it is his ability to live in the opposing team's backfield and make plays that has him atop the lists of some big time programs.

"Right now I am hearing the most from Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, USC, and Georgia," said Johnson. "Those schools are recruiting me really hard, and I don't have a top group of schools or a leader yet, but those are the schools I hear from the most."

The JUCO standout currently holds 20 offers from schools all over the country, but has only had a chance to visit Arkansas, Tennessee, Arkansas State, and Texas A&M.

He will also visit Nebraska on June 16, but one program showing big time interest is a school he is already very familiar with due to the fact that Johnson played his high school ball at Banneker High School in Atlanta.

"Georgia is on me hard, and I like them a lot," he said. "I don't have any top schools, but Georgia is up there and in the middle of it all for me. I'm really close with Coach (Rodney) Garner, and we talk a lot."

According to the Hutchinson defender, his conversations with Garner have given him a clear indication of how he will fit into the Georgia defense.

"We don't always talk about football, we talk about life and stuff," said Johnson. "He has told me that they want me to play that defensive tackle at the five technique in their defense. They think I can step in and make a big impact there right away."

While his recruitment is wide open for the time being, Johnson believes he could begin to narrow things down pretty soon.

"Right now, I'm still getting offers and all, and I want to make sure those are on the table for me," said Johnson. "There are some SEC schools I think are close to offer and some Florida schools. I grew up in the middle of the SEC so it would be cool to have those offers. Once I feel like I am where I want to be with offers, I'm going to start narrowing it down some."

When it comes to his relationship with Georgia, Johnson has plans to get even more acquainted with UGA in the near future.

"I am supposed to be talking with Coach (Mark) Richt real soon," said Johnson. "I'm also planning on visiting my southern schools later this summer and I know I'll be going home at some point. I'll probably visit Georgia then. I've already talked with Coach Garner and I'm going to take my official visit in December to Georgia. I know I want them to be my last visit."

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