RECRUITING: Johnson hopes to join Gators

Now that recruiting season is winding down and signing day is fast approaching in two weeks, the Gator coaches are having to make some tough decisions with some prospects left on the board. The Gators hope to sign upwards of 29-30 recruits. One position that continues to be of desperate need for the Gators is at linebacker, where they're still thin. Josh Johnson, a big time linebacker prospect, could help the Gators fatten up a bit at that position.

(Josh Johnson profile)

Johnson originally signed with Georgia out of high school and he currently attends Georgia Military College (GMC). The good news for the Gators is that he's also very high on the Florida Gators.

He committed to Georgia over Florida two years ago and after a bit of trouble, Johnson was released from his scholarship and found his way to GMC. After cleaning up his act and getting ready to finish his AA degree. Johnson says he has one school on his mind.

"I want to go there," Johnson said Monday night. "I tell everyone that Florida is the school. Coach Meyer is going to let me know on Thursday after he finds some things about why I got kicked out of Georgia. He wants me, but he wants to make sure I can get admitted."

Johnson visited Florida last weekend on an official visit. The 6-2, 240 pound four-star linebacker had a great time and was hosted by another big time linebacker in Brandon Siler.

"The visit went good," he said. "I had a good time. I met the coaching staff and really liked them. Brandon Siler is a good person. He is laid back, not wild. He came out with me in 2004, so I kind of knew him already."

The Gator coaches left Josh with some lasting impressions from his visit and further enhanced his desire to become a Florida Gator.

"Coach Strong is a good linebacker coach and a good person," Johnson said. "He talks to my mom and me a lot. He keeps up with me at least once a week just to check up on me."

"I think Coach Meyer is awesome. He is strictly business. I like that and need that to keep me on the right path. It's not that he is all strict, but he keeps up with his players on and off the field. He will call his players out of the blue to see how their mom is doing and stuff like that."

Johnson spurned the Gators two years ago for archrival Georgia. Back then, it was just a matter of him being comfortable with one of his own that got Johnson to commit to the Bulldogs over the Gators. This time, he knows exactly why he wants to be a Gator.

"I just wanted to stay with my teammate Michael Grant, that was really it," Johnson said. "I see a national championship coming in with the new coaching staff at Florida. They stick to business and work hard."

Johnson has to pass five classes this quarter and five classes next quarter in order to get into a Division 1-A school. It's no sweat for Johnson who confirms, "I will get the job done in class."

In the meantime, while he waits for Urban Meyer to show up and visit on Thursday, other schools are lining up to see him too. He hasn't even paid attention to those schools in hopes that things work out right.

"Other schools have been in contact with me but I have been telling them I want to go to Florida," he said. "I hope it works out, but if not, I will have to go elsewhere."

It is just a matter of days until Gator fans will know where exactly everyone stands with Josh Johnson. He genuinely seems like he wants to be a Gator, and it seems that the Gator coaches are also reciprocating. There are just a few questions to be answered, so stay tuned over the next few days to see if Johnson can don the Orange and Blue he desperately seeks.


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