Fred Johnson was one of seven offensive linemen that signed with the Florida Gators in the 2015 recruiting class. In a year that the Gators had to really come through on the line, they felt they did that and the massive kid from Royal Palm Beach High School was a big part of that.
As signing day approached, Johnson was favoring Miami. The quick-footed offensive tackle played more basketball than football in high school, but his massive size pushed him to the gridiron as a way to get a college scholarship. By the time he was done with his senior season he had several scholarships and Florida and Miami were the two out front.
He visited the last weekend before signing day and felt like the Gator staff really wanted and needed him more than that of Miami, and before he got home he was committed to play for the Gators.
Johnson played as a true freshman in 2015 making on to the field in eight games and actually starting two at right tackle. As a sophomore in 2016, the playing time increased a great deal. He played in 12 games and started eight, but was moved to guard as the season progressed due to injuries and the emergence of freshman tackle Jawaan Taylor.
Taylor has emerged as the starter at right tackle. Junior Martez Ivey will start at left tackle. The guard spots are going to be a battle with Johnson, senior Antonio Riles, junior Tyler Jordan, and redshirt freshman Brett Heggie. He will also double train at the tackle spots.
Johnson is part of an offensive line group that is expected to make big strides in the 2017 season.