October 23, 2012

Johnson relishes 2nd chance

When you are a big time prospect that can help a team right away like Hutchinson Community College (Hutchinson, Kan.) defensive lineman Toby Johnson, you can pretty much expect the offers to steadily pour in.

Johnson, who is set to enroll in January, is approximately two months from making a decision, but that hasn't stopped a number of schools from extending scholarship offers in recent days.

"I was recently offered by Michigan State, Penn Sate, and Kentucky," said Johnson. "Auburn is in the process of giving me an offer, too. Florida also offered recently."

After enrolling at Hutchinson as a non qualifier in 2011, Johnson knew that he would have an opportunity to be recruited heavily down the line, and thus far, the process has been all the thought it would and then some.

"It's crazy," laughed Johnson. "It is a second chance, I know, but just coming here and competing at the JUCO level, it is so much harder than high school. I feel like I am much more prepared now to handle recruiting and playing at the next level."

Since leaving Banneker High School, the four star prospect feels that a lot about him has changed, but not just any change.

Johnson feels he has grown physically and as a football player.

"I've gotten a lot better here," he said. "We have great coaches, and I know I'm probably a little slower than I used to be, but my get-off is so much better. I come of the ball much harder than I used to. I'm bigger and stronger, and I use my hands better. I think that is a reason I'm so much better as a player."

As the recruiting process starts to enter the final months for the star JUCO, Johnson, who has already visited Oklahoma officially, plans to take his full allotment of five official visits.

"I want to visit a Florida school at either Florida or Miami," said Johnson. "I also want to visit a Mississippi school with either Ole Miss or Mississippi State. Then I want to visit Georgia, Tennessee, and maybe Nebraska. I don't know who all is going to get an official visit yet."

While he may not know where he will take his four remaining visits, he does know where he will take two of them.

"I'll visit Georgia and Tennessee for sure," said Johnson. "Those two schools have been the most consistent. No school stands out above the rest, but those schools are always there. Its like, I know that phone call is doing to come every week. I know I'm going to get letters from Georgia and Tennessee every couple of days. I have a great relationship with their coaching staff. I know I'm going to hear from them on Facebook. Stuff like that."

The Peach State native has yet to set up his official visit to Tennessee, but has gotten his visit to UGA squared away, and there is a slight chance he may visit Athens twice before he makes a decision.

"I don't know the exact date, but I'm visiting Georgia on their senior night event when the honor all the players and all the big time recruits come into town (Senior Gala)," said Johnson. "That is when I will be in town. My coach has the dates on that and he handles all that. I don't think I'll be going home for Thanksgiving, but if I do get to go, I'll probably go to the Georgia/Georgia Tech game then too."

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